Future stars dot AFL's Top Prospects Team
Cubs' Bryant, league's Most Valuable Player, highlights promising crop
The Arizona Fall League announced its 2013 Top Prospects Team, featuring Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, the league's Most Valuable Player, and Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, the top-ranked player on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list.
At least one player from 20 organizations made the 22-man Prospects Team, which is selected by AFL managers and coaches based on the players' performances in the fall and how they project as future Major Leaguers.
2013 TOP PROSPECTS TEAM
|OF||Jared Mitchell||White Sox|
|2B||Tommy La Stella||Braves|
|1B||Travis Shaw||Red Sox|
|SP||Aaron Sanchez||Blue Jays|
Bryant helped Mesa reach the AFL Championship Game and led the league in home runs (six), slugging percentage (.727) and on-base plus slugging percentage (1.184) in his MVP campaign.
At 19 years old, Buxton was the fourth-youngest player in the AFL. He started the Fall Stars Game and hit .212 with a .404 slugging percentage.
Buxton was joined on the Prospects Team by fellow Twins farmhand Alex Meyer, a right-hander who went 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in seven starts. The Padres were the only other team to place two players on the team, as catcher Austin Hedges and second baseman Cory Spangenberg were honored.
Joining Bryant and Spangenberg in the infield are Angels first baseman C.J. Cron, Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw, Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella, A's shortstop Addison Russell, Rockies shortstop Cristhian Adames and D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb. Rangers catcher Jorge Alfaro joined Hedges behind the plate.
The Prospect Team's outfield is composed of Buxton, Tyler Naquin (Indians), Mitch Haniger (Brewers), Brian Goodwin (Nationals), Jared Mitchell (White Sox) and Stephen Piscotty (Cardinals). Orioles outfielder Henry Urrutia and Astros first baseman Japhet Amador were honored as designated hitters.
Meyer and Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who started against each other in the Fall Stars Game, were named the Prospect Team's starting pitchers. Marlins right-hander Nick Wittgren and Giants right-hander Derek Law were honored as relievers.