Top prospects meet in AFL Military Appreciation Game
The Arizona Fall League's annual Military Appreciation Game will spotlight several prominent prospects with big league bloodlines. MLB Network and MLB.com will broadcast the matchup with the Mesa Solar Sox visiting the Salt River Rafters live Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local time).
• WATCH LIVE: AFL Military Appreciation Game
Salt River shortstop Carter Kieboom (Nationals) is the lone member of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list scheduled to play in the game. Ranked No. 37, the younger brother of Nationals catcher Spencer Kieboom leads the Fall League with 15 walks and is batting .290/.387/.436 for the Rafters, who can reduce their magic number for the East Division title to one with a victory.
Salt River first baseman Tyler Nevin (Rockies) finished second in the Class A Advanced California League batting race with a .328 average during the regular season and tops the AFL in hitting at .404. The son of former No. 1 overall pick and All-Star Phil Nevin, Tyler also paces the Fall League with a .508 on-base percentage and ranks second with a 1.083 OPS.
A third Rafter, catcher Daulton Varsho (D-backs), is the son of ex-big league catcher Gary Varsho and named after his dad's former teammate, Darren Daulton. Extremely athletic for a catcher, Varsho is batting .296/.352/.406 and is tied for seventh in the AFL with seven steals.
Mesa outfielder Daz Cameron (Tigers) is the son of Mike Cameron, a former All-Star and three-time Gold Glover. Cameron hit his first Fall League home run on Wednesday and is batting .338/.477/.442 in Arizona.
The Rafters feature a player with military ties in right-hander Griffin Jax (Twins), who's trying to become the first product of the Air Force Academy to reach the big leagues. Jax, who started Friday's game against the Solar Sox, is part of the World Class Athlete Program, which allows active-duty personnel to train for the Olympics. He's also the son of Garth Jax, who played 10 years in the NFL as a linebacker.
Eleven different organizations will be represented in the Military Appreciation Game. Below is a list of all participants who made MLB Pipeline's team Top 30 Prospects lists:
Mesa Solar Sox
Angels: 2B Jahmai Jones (No. 4), RHP Jesus Castillo (No. 12)
Athletics: 2B Eli White (No. 18), OF Skye Bolt (No. 30)
Cubs: SS Nico Hoerner (No. 6), LHP Justin Steele (No. 8), OF D.J. Wilson (No. 16), 2B Trent Giambrone (No. 29)
Red Sox: 3B Bobby Dalbec (No. 6), LHP Darwinzon Hernandez (No. 7), RHP Mike Shawaryn (No. 9), 1B Josh Ockimey (No. 10)
Tigers: OF Daz Cameron (No. 8), C Jake Rogers (No. 12), LHP Gregory Soto (No. 14), RHP Sandy Baez (No. 26)
Salt River Rafters
D-backs: RHP Jon Duplantier (No. 1), SS Jazz Chisholm (No. 3), 1B Pavin Smith (No. 4), C Daulton Varsho (No. 5), 3B Drew Ellis (No. 9), C Dominic Miroglio (No. 30)
Marlins: OF Monte Harrison (No. 2), OF Brian Miller (No. 12), RHP Jordan Yamamoto (No. 17), SS Bryson Brigman (No. 27)
Nationals: SS Carter Kieboom (No. 2), OF Daniel Johnson (No. 7), C Tres Barrera (No. 15), RHP Luis Reyes (No. 23)
Rockies: OF Sam Hilliard (No. 9), RHP Ryan Castellani (No. 10), 1B Tyler Nevin (No. 11), RHP Justin Lawrence (No. 17), RHP Jesus Tinoco (No. 20)
Twins: 2B Travis Blankenhorn (No. 18)
Active duty military personnel and veterans will be admitted free to the game at Salt River Fields, the Spring Training home of the D-backs and Rockies. They also will be given free admission to all three AFL games on Veterans Day on Monday.