Indians prospects taking advantage of extended season in Arizona Fall League and elsewhere
Update: Two Indians prospects, catcher Alex Monsalve and pitcher Trey Haley have been selected to play in the Arizona Fall League’s Futures Game. The game will take place on Saturday, November 3 at 8:00PM ET and will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com.
Although the Major League season ended Sunday night, many young players will continue to play through the winter as they aim to speed up their development by playing extended seasons. The Indians have a number of young players currently working on their game in the Arizona Fall League, while several others will be participating in Winter Leagues across Latin America.
The Arizona Fall League (AFL) began its 2012 season on October 9 and eight players from the Indians organization are taking part by representing the Scottsdale Scorpions in the extended season. Several players, such as shortstop Ronny Rodriguez and left-handed pitcher T.J. House, have excelled in the AFL as they look to improve on strong 2012 seasons in the minor leagues.
Rodriguez, 20, is rated the No. 5 prospect in the organization by MLB.com after showing impressive power (19 HR and 66 RBI) with the Carolina Mudcats (Hi-A) in the 2012 regular season. He is hitting .273 through 11 games in the AFL, with six RBI and three stolen bases.
House is coming off a promising season in which he was promoted from Carolina to Double-A Akron, compiling a 10-5 record and 3.56 ERA between the two teams. He has built on his 2012 regular season campaign with several strong performances in Arizona, striking out 18 batters over 17 innings of work, and posting a 1.59 ERA.
Both Rodriguez and House hope to follow in the footsteps of a number of current Indians players who have spent time developing their game in the AFL in recent years.
Jason Kipnis excelled in the AFL in the fall of 2010, and Vinnie Pestano appeared in the league in 2009. Both players went on to make their Major League debuts the following season.
The Arizona Fall League schedule ends on November 15, but similar leagues in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico will take place throughout the fall and winter.
Notable current Indians have played in these leagues as well in recent years. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera played in the Venezuelan Winter League from 2007-2011, while catcher Carlos Santana and pitcher Rafael Perez each made appearances in the 2009 Dominican Winter League. Pitcher Esmil Rogers is expected to play in the Dominican this winter.
For more on the Indians prospects currently plying their trade in off-season leagues, read Tyler Emerick’s feature for MLB.com.
— TribeVibe Contributor Max Lom