Arizona Fall League

From BR Bullpen

Arizona fall league logo.jpg

The Arizona Fall League was founded by 1992 due to dissatisfaction with the traditional winter leagues on the part of Major League Baseball teams. It is a six-team instructional league which operates out of the Arizona Spring Training facilities of the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Oakland A's, Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. Often refered to as the "Graduate School of the Minors", each of these clubs are the parent club for one Arizona Fall League team. The remaining 24 MLB teams rotate among the Arizona Fall League Teams, for example, the Detroit Tigers sent their prospects to the Grand Canyon Rafters in 2004, the Mesa Solar Sox in 2005, and the Phoenix Desert Dogs in 2006.

The first winter league operated by the major league organizations, it was followed by the Hawaii Winter League, California Fall League and Maryland Fall League.

Each of the 30 MLB teams sends six players, 180 players in all, to the AFL each year. Each August, MLB holds a draft to determine which players will spend the season in Arizona. Most players are AA or AAA prospects of the parent clubs, however each team may option to send one player from their Single A affiliates. Players must not have more than one year of credited Major League service. Each club is only allowed to send one foreign player to the AFL each year, as long as that player does not reside in a country that participates in Caribbean Confederation or Australian winter league baseball.

Many Major League players have come through the Arizona Fall League. The proof of the league's success comes in the fact that 41 AFL alumni took the field at the 2011 All-Star Game in St. Louis, MO, including both starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Jered Weaver.

The AFL is known as a hitter-friendly league.

Current AFL Teams[edit]

Team Stadium
Glendale Desert Dogs Camelback Ranch
Mesa Solar Sox Sloan Park
Peoria Javelinas Peoria Sports Complex
Salt River Rafters Salt River Field at Talking Stick
Scottsdale Scorpions Scottsdale Stadium
Surprise Saguaros Surprise Stadium

Note: The Scottsdale Scorpions are the only team to have played in every season of the AFL without moving.

Former Teams[edit]

League Champions[edit]

Year Champion Manager
1992 Sun Cities Solar Sox Jerry Royster
1993 Tempe Rafters Tim Johnson
1994 Peoria Javelinas John Stearns
1995 Mesa Saguaros Bruce Kimm
1996 Scottsdale Scorpions George Hendrick
1997 Peoria Javelinas Mike Scioscia
1998 Sun Cities Solar Sox Fredi Gonzalez
1999 Mesa Solar Sox Chris Cron
2000 Grand Canyon Rafters Butch Wynegar
2001 Phoenix Desert Dogs Thad Bosley
2002 Peoria Javelinas Razor Shines
2003 Mesa Solar Sox Pat Kelly
2004 Phoenix Desert Dogs Dean Treanor
2005 Phoenix Desert Dogs Scott Little
2006 Phoenix Desert Dogs Tony DeFrancesco
2007 Phoenix Desert Dogs Rafael Santana
2008 Phoenix Desert Dogs Stan Cliburn
2009 Peoria Javelinas Kevin Bradshaw
2010 Scottsdale Scorpions Randy Knorr
2011 Salt River Rafters Stu Cole
2012 Peoria Javelinas Dusty Wathan
2013 Surprise Saguaros Gary Kendall
2014 Salt River Rafters Andy Haines
2015 Scottsdale Scorpions Matt Quatraro
2016 Mesa Solar Sox Ryan Christianson
2017 Peoria Javelinas Luis Salazar
2018 Peoria Javelinas Daren Brown
2019 Salt River Rafters Keith Johnson

Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame Inductees[edit]

External Links[edit]

Arizona Fall League