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Trahan, Sparks lead Reds' Fall League crew

Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Shortstop Blake Trahan highlights the list of six Reds prospects who will join the Scottsdale Scorpions when Arizona Fall League play begins in October.

Trahan, 23, is the No. 27 prospect in the Reds' organization according to MLBpipeline.com. He is hitting .221 at Double-A Pensacola with 17 doubles and 11 stolen bases. Trahan was a third-round pick in 2015. MLB.com ranked him the No. 19 prospect in the organization following the 2016 season when, with Class A Daytona, he scored 90 runs, stole 25 bases and reached safely in 31 consecutive games.

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CINCINNATI -- Shortstop Blake Trahan highlights the list of six Reds prospects who will join the Scottsdale Scorpions when Arizona Fall League play begins in October.

Trahan, 23, is the No. 27 prospect in the Reds' organization according to MLBpipeline.com. He is hitting .221 at Double-A Pensacola with 17 doubles and 11 stolen bases. Trahan was a third-round pick in 2015. MLB.com ranked him the No. 19 prospect in the organization following the 2016 season when, with Class A Daytona, he scored 90 runs, stole 25 bases and reached safely in 31 consecutive games.

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2017 Arizona Fall League rosters

Other Reds prospects who will play for Scottsdale include left-handers Joel Bender and Brennan Bernardino, right-hander Jake Ehret, third baseman Taylor Sparks, catcher Chad Tromp, and two players to be named. Tromp will begin the season on the taxi squad.

Bender, 25, graduated from Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati, and was drafted in the 27th round in 2010. He has pitched 17 games this summer (0-1, 3.00), primarily for Daytona, striking out 22 in 18 innings. He missed all of the 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 2015, Bender climbed from Class A to Triple-A in the same season, compiling a 3.61 ERA.

Another Cincinnati native, D-backs right-hander Ryan Atkinson (Colerain High School) will play for the Salt River Rafters.

Bernardino, 25, was a 26th-round pick in 2014. He has made 37 appearances for Pensacola (2-4. 4.46), striking out 40 in 38 1/3 innings, and made 50 appearances for Daytona in 2015 (5-3, 3.71). Bernardino has 181 strikeouts in 181 1/3 pro innings.

Ehret, 24, was drafted in the 14th round in 2014. He has pitched in 35 games between Daytona and Pensacola (1-2, 7.46). He was a Florida State League midseason all-star with Daytona in 2016 before being promoted to Pensacola.

Sparks, 24, a third baseman, was taken by the Reds in the second round of the 2014 Draft. He has been promoted twice this season and is currently with Double-A Dayton, where he has driven in 16 runs in 27 games. Sparks had a combined 14 home runs and 62 RBIs between Daytona and Pensacola in 2016, and has accumulated 37 home runs during his first four pro seasons. Sparks was listed as Cincinnati's No. 23 prospect in both 2015 and 2016.

Tromp, 22, from Aruba, was signed as an 18-year-old in 2013. He has split the season between Daytona and Pensacola, hitting a combined .265 with 13 doubles. He drove in 38 runs for Daytona in 2016.

The Arizona Fall League is a "finishing school" for prospects who meet the eligibility rules and are close to the Majors. Generally speaking, if a team sends a player to the Fall League, it's an indication that team thinks he has the chance to contribute in the big leagues in the near future. In other words, it can be a short leap from the AFL to MLB. More than 2,600 players have made that leap since the league was founded in 1992.

The league has a total of six teams, with five organizations represented on each. Every MLB team is required to send at least six players from its organization. Cincinnati's prospects at Scottsdale will join players from the New York Yankees, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Angels.

Jay Bell will be Scottsdale's manager. He was Cincinnati's bench coach from 2013 through 2015 and is currently the manager for the Yankees' Class A Advacned team in Tampa. Former Reds shortstop Travis "Gookie" Dawkins will be Scottsdale's hitting coach. He is the hitting coach for Pensacola.

The season opens Oct. 10 and runs through Nov. 18. Games are played Monday through Saturday at six Spring Training facilities.

Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Reds