Baseball is a world of it's own. There is so much that isn't known upfront unless you have followed the ins and outs of the baseball world for years and years. And even some people I talk to that are die hard baseball people don't know the intricacies of the sport. They know that they love their team and that baseball season lasts from the start of Spring Training and goes until playoffs and the World Series. They know that there is a minor league system with Single, Double, and Triple A. They know that they have prospects... but what about the rest of it? There is so much more. Last week I posted this photo on my Instagram and I have received a lot of questions since then. So I thought I would share with you what the Fall League is all about.
It's an incredible feeling to get a photo from Adam of his very own professional baseball jersey with his last name on it hanging in his Fall League locker. It makes it even better that it is our name on the back of the jersey because becoming a professional player isn't just his dream, it's our dream. And if that means I stay home and work while we work towards our dream, that's okay. And moments like this make it more okay. Small wins and small victories on our way to the Bigs. Now go kick some Fall League booty, Adam!
What is the Fall League?So I am pulling this straight from the Arizona Fall League website, "There are six teams in the Arizona Fall League: the Scottsdale Scorpions, Mesa Solar Sox, Salt River Rafters, Glendale Desert Dogs, Peoria Javelinas and Surprise Saguaros. These club names were picked by Major League Baseball as reflective of the Southwestern desert traditions in the state.The teams are broken into two divisions, East and West. Each Major League Baseball team sends six top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, 180 players in all. The games are played in the Spring Training stadiums used by the Giants, Mariners, Padres, Cubs, A's, Royals, Rangers, D-backs and Rockies.How good are the players in the Arizona Fall League? The 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis featured 36 AFL alums. Nearly 60 percent of all AFL players make a Major League roster, with an incredible 212 All-Stars, 12 MVPs, four Cy Young Award Winners, three World Series MVPs, 66 Silver Sluggers, 58 Golden Gloves, and 25 Rookies of the Year.Each August, Major League clubs hold a position draft to determine the players who will go to Arizona. Most are Double-A and Triple-A Minor League players. Each club can opt to send one player considered a Class A player."So basically to sum it all up - it is an invite only league for top prospects in every organization. Mostly made up of upper level players, you have to be high enough in the ranks to even be considered for a Fall League invite. Once the guys are selected they all come together to create prospect teams that play each other for 6 weeks straight. During that time the guys are able to get a feel for what it will be like to play at the Big League level because all of the guys have what it takes to potentially be in the Majors within the next year or so.So that is a good thing to get invited to the Fall League?Absolutely. My favorite description of the Fall League is on their Twitter page, "MLB created the Arizona Fall League in 1992 to serve as an off-season “graduate school” for top prospects." Things like overall health and innings played get taken into consideration when they are selecting, so some of the organization's favorite might not end up going, but overall an invite to the Fall League shows that the Organization has you on their mind. They want to see what the guys can accomplish. And in my opinion, that is a great thing.Where does he play at?Adam's team - Salt River Rafters - have their home base at the Salt River Fields. That is where the Diamondbacks and Rockies are for Spring Training. Every year the Salt River Rafted swap between the two organization's big league locker room and this year they are in the Rockies' locker room. They have games at a few other facilities throughout the Phoenix area but his home base is Salt River fields.How long is he gone for?He is gone for about 2 months total. Adam left October 1st for practice and training. His games started October 12th. And his final game of the Fall League will be November 21st. Which means I get him home just in time for the holidays.Does that mean he will get invited to the Big Leagues next year?There is no guarantee with anything in baseball. But if he does well at the Fall League then there is a good chance he will be heading to Big League Spring Training. And then once again, we will see from there. If there is anything I have learned during baseball it is to always work hard and never get your hopes up. Something can chance in the matter of seconds and you can only hope for the best and plan for the worst. Whatever happens we know that it is because it is supposed to be. Adam works hard and hopefully all the hard work pays off for the move up to the Bigs!If I didn't answer a question you have, feel free to ask! The Fall League is something I didn't even know existed until last year when Adam mentioned that maybe next he would have a chance to get invited. And here we are in the next year and he is at the Fall League. It is crazy to me how much goes into baseball and how many options there are for your regular season - then add in all the off season options and your mind will be blown. I am just excited for the opportunity for Adam and I to work towards our goal to be a permanent part of the Diamondbacks family.