Preliminary rosters were released for the Arizona Fall League today.The Arizona Fall League runs from October 10 through November 18. It’s a showcase and proving ground for baseball’s top talent, roughly 60% of which will make the major leagues.
Eleven of the top 100 prospects (as rated by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo) will be playing, including four of the top 20. Among those appearing this year are Nationals outfield prospect Victor Robles, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna and Indians catcher Francisco Mejia. Here’s the full rundown. The rosters will change in the next month or so, as some players will be added and perhaps some pulled back.
The Fall League is the best chance for anyone wanting to see baseball’s top prospects in one place. While I’ve never attended Fall League games, I’m told that it’s also simply one of the best overall baseball experiences around, as you’re seeing high-level play in excellent facilities that, unlike during Cactus League play, are rarely filled to capacity. The tickets remain extraordinarily inexpensive as well, which is also a rarity these days.
If you can make it to the Phoenix area in October, it’s definitely something to catch.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.
One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.
“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.
Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.
Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.
Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.