10 guys I am most excited to scout in AFL
The Arizona Fall League's 2012 season starts Tuesday, with two afternoon games in Phoenix and Peoria and a night game in Scottsdale at Salt River Fields. As usual, the league is full of prospects, both established names and players who have made or are on the verge of making moves up (or down) my rankings. The talent this year is heavily skewed towards bats, so don't be surprised to see some high-scoring games over the next six weeks.
Here's a ranking of the 10 players I'm most interested in seeing this year, as well as lists of other players to watch from each of the six AFL rosters. I've omitted some very good prospects from the top 10 because I've seen them too recently or otherwise feel like I've got a good handle on their tools and skills, not because I am down on them as prospects.
1. Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs/Mesa
The ninth overall pick in the 2011 Rule 4 draft out of a Jacksonville, Fla., high school, Baez has huge raw power due to very quick wrists that allow him to drive the ball to all fields, but was widely seen as a candidate to move off shortstop in pro ball. Improved instruction and increased effort on his part now have that flipped around, with pro scouts who got their first looks at him this year giving him a good chance to stay at the position long-term.
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