Christian Yelich, pictured here at the Futures Game, leads a contingent of six Miami Marlins prospects to the Arizona Fall League. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
The Arizona Fall League rosters were announced today, and the Miami Marlins are sending six players along with one coach. Grant Dayton, Brian Flynn, Scott McGough, Jacob Realmuto, Kyle Jensen, and Christian Yelich will all play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs starting on October 10th.
Miami had obvious reasons for sending some of these players, but a few of them are unexplained. For example, Kyle Jensen is most likely going because he's had a very disappointing season in Double-A Jacksonville, but he's started to turn things around in the last month and a half. For prospects like Scott McGough and Jacob Realmuto, Miami probably just wants to see how they will perform in such a talented league and get them more experience against a high level of competition.
Another note on the Marlins AFL happenings is that Michael Brady was rumored to be joining these players in the AFL. However, he is not listed on the Phoenix roster, so I'm not sure what is going on there. Brady has twenty-one saves for High-A Jupiter this year.
The lone Marlins coach on the Phoenix roster is Charlie Corbell. Corbell, who has been with the Marlins organization for more than five years, pitched at the University of Arkansas, was drafted twice, but signed with the Giants. Corbell never reached the majors, but he has landed coaching jobs at Lamar University and Galveston College before joining the Marlins. Corbell has been the Triple-A New Orleans pitching coach since 2011.
Grant Dayton: Grant Dayton is a twenty-four year old lefty in Double-A. Dayton throws a fastball in the low 90's, a cutter, a curveball, and a changeup. He's put up awesome numbers at every level the Marlins have tested him, including striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings between High-A and Double-A this season. Dayton has a chance to be a 7th inning reliever for the Marlins someday, so facing young talent in the AFL isn't a bad idea for him.
Brian Flynn: Flynn, a flame-throwing lefty who came over in the Anibal Sanchez trade with Detroit, has started six games for Double-A Jacksonville. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Marlins use him as a reliever in the AFL, as that's where most think he will end up in the long run.
Scott McGough: McGough came over in the Hanley Ramirez trade with Los Angeles this season. Pitching in twelve games with High-A Jupiter this year, Mcgough posted a 2.70 FIP. McGough has never pitched in Double-A, so this will be a good opportunity for him to face some more experienced and talented hitters.
Jacob Realmuto: Even when the Marlins acquired Rob Brantly in July, I still believed they see Realmuto as their catcher of the future. Realmuto has hit .257 with eight homers this year at Jupiter in 116 games. Realmuto will compete with Oakland catching prospect Max Stassi for reps behind the plate.
Kyle Jensen: Kyle Jensen has struck out in over thirty percent of his 295 plate appearances at Double-A Jacksonville this season. His strikeout rate would be second in the majors, only behind Adam Dunn. Obviously, Jensen has a few holes in his swing to correct before he'll have a shot at a major league future.
Christian Yelich: The Marlins' top hitting prospect, Yelich has only played in one hundred games for High-A Jupiter in 2012 due to a few minor injuries. Yelich will get to face some pitchers with very high ceilings in the AFL, and prove to the Marlins that he is ready to start next year with Jacksonville in the Southern League.