The Minnesota Twins have named six players that will participate in the 2014 Arizona Fall League season and will announce one additional player at a later date. The Twins players that will play for the Salt River Rafters this season are outfielders Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler as well as RHP Jason Adam, LHP Mason Melotakis, and LHP Taylor Rogers. Players do not often play in the AFL two years in a row but in the case of the Twins they will Buxton, Rosario, and Kepler back for a second try. Not because of how they played in the AFL in 2013 but because they all need more at bats this season. Buxton the number one prospect in baseball has been out most of the season with wrist injuries and now is coming off a concussion. Kepler has had various nagging injuries all season and has not played up to his potential at Ft. Myers this season. Rosario missed the first 50 games of the season due to his suspension. All three outfielders have something to prove this fall.
The Salt River Rafters roster will be made up of players from the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Astros, Marlins and Twins organizations. The team will be managed by Andy Haines and the hitting coach will be Kevin Riggs and the pitching coach will be Joshua Miller.
The six-team league, owned and operated by Major League Baseball, will play six days per week (Monday-Saturday). As always, the AFL will be chock full of future big leaguers when the six-week league, which has established itself as the finishing school for the game’s best prospects since its inception in 1992, begins its season on Tuesday, October 7. The Fall League season runs through Saturday, November 15, with a championship game held at Scottsdale Stadium. The league’s Fall Stars Game, which will feature many of those Top 100 prospects, will be held Saturday, November 1, at Salt River Fields.
According to MLB, approximately 60 percent of AFL players will reach the Major Leagues. 14 players on the Twins current roster have participated in the Arizona Fall League. Since its inception in 1992 about 2,300 AFL players have reached the major leagues.
MLB TV will carry some of these AFL games so make sure you check it out and watch some of these young stars play this fall and maybe, just maybe you will see some of the players in the major leagues in 2015.
UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 30 – The Twins have announced that RHP Jake Reed will also join the Salt River Rafters this fall.