Arizona Fall League Set to Get Under Way

Arizona Fall League
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Fall League is set to begin its 30th season on Monday October 2. This league is an opportunity for top prospects to continue their growth and play with, and against, other rising stars. Most Fall League players are from Double-A and Triple-A. The games are played in front of major and minor league baseball scouts and team executives in attendance at almost every game.

Top Players

Six teams, comprised by players from all 30 major league organizations play in the league. This year at least 10 of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects—and would-be future stars will be playing on the league’s six teams. Superstars such as Ronald Acuña Jr. Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and Mike Trout played in the Arizona Fall League. Over the past 29 years, the league has also seen the likes of Ryan Braun, Roy Halladay, Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, Albert Pujols, and Jimmy Rollins.

League is Noteworthy

The Arizona Fall League’s 30th season is about to get under way, and his league has a noteworthy showing of players making a major league team. Over 2900 of the nearly 5000 AFL players have reached the major leagues since the league began. Thirty-six of the 76 players selected for the 2023 All-Star Game played in the Arizona Fall League at one time. The league can also boast an incredible six Cy Young Award winners, 19 MVP’s, seven World Series MVP’s, and 321 All-Stars. They even have their own Hall of Fame to which players, managers, coaches, and even umpires can be elected.

Run by Major League Baseball

The league is run by Major League Baseball and features major league rules and regulations. It gives top prospects from the minor leagues a chance to continue playing and refine their skills. The Phoenix area was chosen to host the league because of its climate and because its top-notch spring training fields are always major league ready.

Rule Changes

Major League Baseball also uses the Arizona Fall League to test the new rule changes. This year’s rule changes with the pitch clock and larger bases worked well in the Fall League. This year’s games will test Major League Baseball’s modifications to the pitch timer, a redefinition of the runner’s lane, and a rule preventing defenders from blocking the runner’s path to the base.

Umpires

The league also provides great experience for umpires looking to practice and hone their skills and to learn the new rules in order to be MLB ready. Fifty-six MLB umpires have worked the AZ Fall League at one time or another. With many current umpires up for retirement this experience can only help minor-league umpires get to the Big Leagues sooner.

Top Level Stadiums and Playing Fields

The location is advantageous for the Arizona Fall League because all the stadiums, Salt River Fields (Scottsdale), Peoria Sports Complex (Peoria), Sloan Park (Mesa), Camelback Ranch (Glendale), Surprise Stadium (Surprise), and Scottsdale Stadium (Scottsdale)—are within short driving distances of one another. Playing surfaces at the state of the art venues are outstanding and seating and concession areas are always fan friendly.

Afternoon and Night Games

The Arizona Fall League begins season 30 and this year each team will play 30 Games. Games are played Monday through Saturday (no Sundays), with most starting at either 2:30 pm. or 6:30 pm (Arizona Time). The 2:30 p.m. start time is new this season. The only game played on a Sunday is the Fall Stars game (November 5).

Schedule Highlights and Playoffs

Saturday, October 14: Neutral site triple-header—all teams play in the same ballpark on the same day (Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, AZ)

Another Saturday October 28: Neutral site double-header (Hohokam Stadium, Mesa, AZ)

November 4: Home Run Derby (Sloan Park)

Sunday, November 5: Fall Stars Game (Sloan Park)

Friday, November 10: Playoff—a play-in game with the numbers 2 and 3 seeds; winner plays the number 1 seed for the championship (Camelback Ranch)

Saturday, November 11. Championship Game (Scottsdale Stadium)

Up Close and Friendly

The Arizona Fall League is starting soon. So if you are in Phoenix or plan on visiting, check out the top players at an Arizona Fall League game. You could see tomorrow’s stars featured in very real competition. There is better access to the players, as well as opportunities to learn more about the game. For more information, including a printable schedule, check out the league’s website.

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Share "Arizona Fall League Set to Get Under Way" on social media:
More General Baseball News
James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *