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D-backs to be well represented in AFL

No. 5 prospect Lopez to be joined by seven other farmhands, two coaches

DENVER -- The D-backs will send eight players to the Arizona Fall League this year to play for the Salt River Rafters.

Pitchers Daniel Gibson, Keith Hessler, Yoan Lopez and Adam Miller were chosen by the organization to join catcher Oscar Hernandez, shortstop Jack Reinheimer and outfielders Daniel Palka and Gabriel Guerrero. Lopez, ranked by as the organization's No. 5 prospect, leads the pack.

Guerrero will be a member of the Rafters' "taxi squad," which means he will be active to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The decision to send Lopez, who was signed as a free agent last winter out of Cuba, would seem to indicate that the elbow issue that shut him down this season is not serious.

Video: Top Prospects: Gabriel Guerrero, OF, D-backs

Reinheimer and Guerrero came over along with Welington Castillo from the Mariners in the June 3 deal that sent outfielder Mark Trumbo to Seattle.

Hernandez was a Rule 5 selection last December and had to spend the entire 2015 season on the big league roster. Playing time was hard to come by for Hernandez, and D-backs manager Chip Hale said recently the organization was hopeful that he could make up some of that lost time in the Fall League.

The D-backs also will have a pair of coaches on the staff in Double-A hitting coach Jason Camilli and Rookie Arizona League pitching coach Larry Pardo.

The Blue Jays, Mets, Nationals and Rockies will also have players on the Rafters team, which will play its home games at Salt River Fields, Spring Training home of both the D-backs and Rockies.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
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