The Arizona Fall League has six teams composed of young up & coming baseball players from all 30 major league teams. Tonight the MLB Network will broadcast the AFL Rising Stars Game at 7:00 PM Chicago time. Stephen Strasburg was supposed to start for the East, but will be replaced by Tommy Mendoza, Strasburg has a strained neck muscle. Mike Minor will be on the hill for the West. One of the Rising Stars is power hitting centerfielder Grant Desme of the Oakland A’s. Desme hit 11 home runs at Kane County before being promoted to A+ Stockton, where he hit another 20 home runs in 2009. Grant has already hit ten more long balls in the Fall, while batting .354.
I’ve been going to the valley of the sun the past four years to watch baseball prospects before they reach the big leagues. Last year I saw AL Rookie of the Year Chicago White Sox thirdbaseman Gordon Beckham and phenom righthander of the Atlanta Braves Tommy Hanson. It’s also fun to hang with major league scouts there to take in the action. I’ll be out there again soon, reporting on baseball, possibly with a podcast, or two.