Fall League reveals Top Prospects Team

Selected by AFL managers and coaches, the team recognizes 24 players who stood out

December 5th, 2016

The 2016 Arizona Fall League came to an end on Nov. 19, when the Mesa Solar Sox, powered by a two-homer, 4-for-4 performance from Cubs top prospect Ian Happ, defeated the Surprise Saguaros, 6-1, in the championship game at Scottsdale Stadium.

Since then, MLBPipeline.com has broken down this year's impressive contingent of Fall League participants in different ways, highlighting the circuit's top performers and breakout prospects and even constructing an All-AFL Team.

:: 2016 Arizona Fall League championship game coverage ::

The end-of-season awards continued on Monday as the Arizona Fall League announced it's official Top Prospects Team. Selected by Fall League managers and coaches, the team recognizes 24 players who distinguished themselves throughout the league's six-week schedule against other top prospects from every organization in Major League Baseball. Voters were asked to consider Fall League performance and Major League projectability.

With that being said, here is this year's AFL Top Prospects Team:


, Glendale Desert Dogs (Cardinals' No. 11 prospect)

The 22-year-old backstop hit .286 with three homers in 21 games, recorded 13 walks against just four strikeouts and tied for second in RBIs (18).

, Surprise Saguaros (Twins' No. 23 prospect)

Garver finished second in the league in homers (4, tie) and home run ratio (1:17.5 at-bats) while batting .229 with four doubles and 14 RBIs in 19 games.

, Salt River Rafters (Brewers' No. 14 prospect)

Nottingham hit .203 with four extra-base hits and eight RBIs in 10 games and paced all Fall League catchers in putouts (126).

First Basemen

Cody Bellinger, Glendale Desert Dogs (Dodgers' No. 1 prospect)

The No. 31 overall prospect was a clear standout in the AFL, where he hit .314 with three homers in 20 games. Bellinger also paced the circuit in doubles (eight), finished third in RBIs (17), on-base percentage (.424) and OPS (.981).

Ryan O'Hearn, Surprise Saguaros (Royals' No. 7 prospect)

In a campaign that saw him hit .291 with 12 runs scored, five extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in 23 games, O'Hearn also led all first basemen in total chances (195), putouts (191) and double plays (18).

Second Basemen

, Salt River Rafters (Braves' No. 9 prospect)

Demeritte's name was all over the leaderboard, as he led the league in triples (four) and total bases (48, tie) and finished second in runs scored (23) and home runs (4, tie).

Keon Wong, Peoria Javelinas (Rays)

To go along with the league's 10th-best average (.313), Wong tallied 10 runs scored, eight RBIs and four stolen bases in 22 games.

Third Basemen

Brian Anderson, Mesa Solar Sox (Marlins' No. 4 prospect)

Anderson, 23, connected on five home runs in the desert to lead the Fall League, and then went deep once more in the AFL title game. Overall, he hit .273 with 17 runs and 12 RBIs in 22 games.

Drew Ward, Glendale Desert Dogs (Nationals' No. 10 prospect)

The 22-year-old began the fall with a 13-game hitting streak en route to hitting in 19 of his 21 games, during which he produced a .309 average with six doubles and 13 runs scored.


, Scottsdale Scorpions (Yankees' No. 2 prospect)

At 19, Torres was the youngest player in the AFL as well as its best, winning the Joe Black MVP Award and the EyePromise Vizual EDGE Award. The No. 17 overall prospect hit .403 to become the youngest batting champ in the history of the league, which he also paced in on-base percentage (.513), OPS (1.158) and strikeout ratio (1:25.67 plate appearances) and finished second in slugging (.645).

Nick Gordon, Surprise Saguaros (Twins' No. 2 prospect)

The No. 47 overall prospect ranked third in hits (28) and fourth in batting (.346) and led AFL shortstops in total chances (84) and assists (54, tie) All together, he hit .346 with 15 runs and six extra-base hits in 21 games.

Zach Vincej, Peoria Javelinas (Reds)

Vincej, 25, finished first in slugging percentage (.676) and extra-base hits (13), ranked second in home runs (4, tie), RBIs (18, tie) and OPS (1.101) and posted the league's third-highest average (.352).


Jacoby Jones, Salt River Rafters (Tigers' No. 9 prospect)

Jones finished seventh in average (.329) and fourth in hits (27) as he recorded 11 runs scored, 13 RBIs and five stolen bases in 21 games.

Eric Wood, Surprise Saguaros (Pirates)

The Fall League's RBI leader (20), Wood also ranked second in hits (29), fourth in total bases (43), sixth in batting (.330) and eighth in OPS (.876).

Tyler O'Neill, Peoria Javelinas (Mariners' No. 2 prospect)

O'Neill, No. 59 on the Top 100, had eight of his 21 hits go for extra bases in the Fall League (3 HR, 5 doubles) as he posted a .292 average with 14 RBIs and the circuit's seventh-best OPS (.881).

Greg Allen, Mesa Solar Sox (Indians' No. 19 prospect)

Allen showed tremendous on-base and base-stealing skills, tying for the AFL lead with 12 thefts, while hitting .269 with seven extra-base hits -- including three home runs -- and 12 runs in 22 games.

Bradley Zimmer, Mesa Solar Sox (Indians' No. 1 prospect)

The No. 25 overall prospect led the league in runs scored (25) and walks (19, tie). Zimmer also finished tied for second in doubles (seven) and home runs (4, tie) while ranking fifth in on-base percentage (.421) and OPS (.935).

Andrew Stevenson, Glendale Desert Dogs (Nationals' No. 8 prospect)

Stevenson put together one of the better seasons among Fall Leaguers, finishing first in hits (30), second in average (.353) and total bases (44) and third in steals (9) and runs scored (18).

Designated Hitters

, Scottsdale Scorpions (Yankees' No. 7 prospect)

A 2016 Fall Stars Game participant as East Division Bowman Vote-In winner, Andujar batted .284 -- thanks largely to his .409 clip against left-handed hurlers -- with 10 runs, four extra-base hits and five RBIs in 19 games.

Harrison Bader, Glendale Desert Dogs (Cardinals' No. 3 prospect)

Ranked No. 82 on the Top 100, Bader hit .304 with 12 runs, 16 RBIs and four stolen bases in 21 contests.

Starting Pitchers

Michael Kopech, Surprise Saguraos (Red Sox's No. 5 prospect)

Kopech recorded three strikeouts while throwing 14 of his 20 pitches for strikes en route to two perfect frames in the Fall Stars Game. Overall, baseball's No. 67 prospect went 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA -- the lowest among qualified starters in the Fall League -- in six starts, compiling 26 strikeouts and eight walks in 22 1/3 innings.

Brent Honeywell, Peoria Javelinas (Rays' No. 2 prospect)

The No. 39 overall prospect posted a 5.40 ERA but led the AFL with the fewest baserunners per nine innings (nine) and ranked third in opponent batting average (.204). He, too, shined in the Fall Stars Game, striking out five of six hitters faced over two perfect innings as the West Division's starting and winning pitcher.

Relief Pitchers

Jared Miller, Salt River Rafters (D-backs' No. 28 prospect)

The 6-foot-8 left-hander posted 10 scoreless appearances for Salt River, during which he allowed six hits and four walks with 30 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings. He set a league record for most innings pitched (18 1/3) without allowing a run, and is one of three qualifying pitchers in AFL history to finish a season without allowing a run.

Edgar Santana, Surprise Saguaros (Pirates' No. 29 prospect)

Santana struck out 18 (vs. just two walks) in 13 2/3 shutout innings, and that doesn't include closing out the Fall Stars Game. He joined Miller as one of only two qualifying pitchers with 0.00 ERA, while his three saves tied for second in the league.