AFL club affiliations, staffs announced for 2015 season
The 2015 Arizona Fall League season is already shaping up. The organizational affiliations and staff announcements were made Tuesday for the upcoming AFL campaign, which will begin Oct. 13. Nearly 58 percent of former AFL players -- roughly 2,300 out of 3,900 -- have gone on to reach the Major Leagues at some point.
The AFL has been running since 1992, and this year it will add a new venue. The Cubs' Spring Training facility, located in Mesa, will join the four existing facilities already in use.
The Mesa Solar Sox, who will play at the Cubs' facility, will be comprised of prospects from the Cubs, Angels, Marlins, Athletics and Rays. Mark Johnson will serve as the manager of the Solar Sox, and his pitching coaches will be Steve Connelly and Jeff Schwarz. Brenton Del Chiaro, a coach in the Angels' organization, will be the hitting coach for the Solar Sox.
The Salt River Rafters, the league's defending champions, will feature Minor Leaguers from the local Diamondbacks, Rockies, Mets, Blue Jays and Nationals. Tripp Keister will be the manager, and Marc Valdes will be the pitching coach. The Rafters will have two hitting coaches -- Jason Camilli and John Tamargo -- for the upcoming AFL campaign.
The final team in the East Division, the Scottsdale Scorpions, will have prospects from the Red Sox, Indians, Tigers, Twins and Giants. Matt Quatraro of the Indians' organization will serve as the manager. Paul Abbott will be the pitching coach, and hitting coach duties will be split between Chad Allen of the Twins and Nelson Santovenia of the Tigers.
The Glendale Desert Dogs will be home to prospects from the White Sox, Astros, Dodgers, Phillies and Pirates. Bill Hasselman will be the manager, and Jose Bautista and Justin Meccage will be his pitching coaches. Nelson Prada will serve as hitting coach.
The Peoria Javelinas, based at Peoria Sports Complex, will be composed of players from the Braves, Orioles, Reds, Padres and Mariners. Former Major League catcher Rod Barajas will be Peoria's manager, and his pitching coaches will be Gabe Luckert and Derrin Ebert. Sean Berry, another former big leaguer, will be the hitting coach for the Javelinas.
The Surprise Saguaros will be the final team in the West Division, and they'll be made up of players from the Royals, Brewers, Yankees, Cardinals and Rangers. Carlos Subero of the Brewers' organization will serve as manager, and his pitching coaches will be Jose Rosado and Carlos Reyes. Bobby Rose will be the hitting coach for the Saguaros.
The league's rosters will be announced later in the summer, and the schedule will be released on July 30. The AFL's championship game is scheduled for Nov. 21.