Spokane, Wash. - The Arizona Fall League announced its 2023 rosters on Friday with several of baseball's top young talents scattered across the six rosters in the Grand Canyon State's Valley of the Sun. The Spokane Indians will have eight former players competing in the AFL, including four players from
Spokane, Wash. - The Arizona Fall League announced its 2023 rosters on Friday with several of baseball's top young talents scattered across the six rosters in the Grand Canyon State's Valley of the Sun. The Spokane Indians will have eight former players competing in the AFL, including four players from this year's squad, a trio of first-round picks, and one lone holdover from the team's affiliation with the Texas Rangers.
Jaden Hill: A second-round pick in 2021, Hill has amassed just 61.1 innings over his two first pro seasons as he continues to work back from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander from LSU struck out 57 over 43.2 innings with the Indians this season (11.9 K/9) but struggled with consistency (1.81 WHIP) and will look to make up for lost time in the AFL.
Zak Kent: The right-hander from Henrico, VA, pitched for the Spokane Indians in 2019 after being drafted out of the Virginia Military Institute by the Texas Rangers. Kent fell out of the Rangers Top 30 after battling injuries this season, but a strong showing in the AFL could put him on track to crack the big league roster in 2024.
Chris McMahon: The ace of Spokane's staff in 2021 (10-3, 4.17 ERA), McMahon has been limited to just 95.2 innings over the past two years due to injury. Still just 24, the right-hander will be given every chance to succeed in Colorado's pitching-starved farm system.
Juan Mejia: A hard-throwing reliever who flirts with triple-digit heat, Mejia piled up 86 strikeouts in 56.2 between Spokane and Hartford this year (13.3 K/9) and heads to the AFL with an opportunity to work on his control issues (4.9 BB/9).
Benny Montgomery: The 8th overall pick in 2021 out of Red Land HS in Pennsylvania, Montgomery flashes plus power and speed plus good range in the outfield, but his extreme inconsistency at the plate (.333 in April, .183 in May, .333 in July, .165 in August) has knocked him down a few pegs in the organizational rankings. The AFL gives Montgomery a prime opportunity to build back his stock heading into a crucial 2024 season.
Drew Romo: One of the top defensive catchers in Minor League Baseball, Romo has a chance to be a star for the Rockies if his bat continues to develop. The switch-hitter posted a paltry .637 OPS in the first half for Hartford, but responded with an .891 mark in the season's second half including a three-homer game in September. Romo will look to carry that momentum into the AFL as he bids for big league roster spot next year.
Sterlin Thompson: The former Florida Gator standout slashed .463/.513/.746 with Spokane in April before an elbow injury forced him to miss the entire month of May. Thompson will head to the AFL to get some more at-bats and try to find a full-time home on defense (he spent time at second and in the outfield after being promoted to Hartford).
Case Willliams: After a strong season across three levels in 2022, Williams struggled mightily with the Hartford Yard Goats in 2023 (1-11, 7.08 ERA, 1.79 WHIP). The young right-hander will look to rebuild his confidence in the desert with the Salt River Rafters before a likely return to Harford next year.
Five Major League organizations will team up to form each of the half-dozen rosters in this year's AFL, and the assignments for those clubs are:
Glendale Desert Dogs: Dodgers, Mets, Red Sox, Twins, White Sox
Mesa Solar Sox: Astros, Athletics, Cubs, Orioles, Yankees
Peoria Javelinas: Guardians, Mariners, Marlins, Padres, Rays
Salt River Rafters: Braves, D-backs, Pirates, Rockies, Tigers
Scottsdale Scorpions: Angels, Cardinals, Giants, Phillies, Nationals
Surprise Saguaros: Blue Jays, Brewers, Rangers, Reds, Royals
The Arizona Fall League regular season begins on Monday, Oct. 2 and runs through Thursday, Nov. 9. The play-in semifinals will take place between the second- and third-place squads on Friday, Nov. 10, at Glendale's Camelback Ranch. The AFL Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Scottsdale Stadium. The AFL is expanding stadiums to add a tripleheader at Goodyear Ballpark (Spring Training home of the Guardians and Reds) on Saturday, Oct. 14, and a doubleheader at Hohokam Stadium (Spring Training home of the A's) on Saturday, Oct. 28. The AFL Home Run Derby returns to Mesa's Sloan Park on Saturday, Nov. 4 with the annual Fall Stars Game in the same place a day later.
ABOUT THE SPOKANE INDIANS
The Spokane Indians are the High-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies located in Spokane, Washington, and were named 2021 MiLB Organization of the Year. Avista Stadium is home to the MultiCare Kids Bench Seat. Parking at all Spokane Indians games is FREE. The Indians open the 2024 Northwest League season against the Vancouver Canadians at Avista Stadium on Friday, April 5th. Ticket packages are available now at spokaneindians.com or by calling (509) 343-OTTO (6886). The Spokane Indians Office and Team Store are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.