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Arizona Fall League Preview

By Jason Bartel -- October 10, 2012 2:05 PM EDT

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October is a great month for baseball fans. Not only are the MLB playoffs going on, but the game's up and coming stars are starting to report to winter leagues across the world, none with a better reputation than the Arizona Fall League.

The Arizona Fall League is made up of six teams (Surprise Saguaros, Mesa Solar Sox, Peoria Javelinas, Phoenix Desert Dogs, Salt River Rafters, and Scottsdale Scorpions), each of which is affiliated with five MLB clubs. Each MLB club sends six of their top prospects to their respective teams. These teams play each other every day of the week except Sundays from October 9th to November 15th, culminating with a championship game, which will be played at Scottsdale Stadium on November 17th.

The 2011 MLB All-Star Game featured 41 AFL alumni, which shows just how great the talent is that comes to Arizona every fall. The AFL has its own Hall of Fame, which showcases some of the extraordinary players that hone their skills in this league. Some of the players include: Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, Mike Piazza, Jason Giambi, Shawn Green, Todd Helton, Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano, Torii Hunter, Ryan Howard, and so many more players and managers. This year, Mark Teixeira, Ron Washington and Derek Lowe were added to the list as the latest inductees.

Last year's AFL rosters were headlined by the Scottsdale outfield, which featured 2012 AL MVP candidate Mike Trout and 2012 NL Rookie of the Year candidate Bryce Harper playing together in center and left respectively. The home run and RBI champ last year in the AFL was the Rangers' Mike Olt, and the runs scored leader was the DBacks' Adam Eaton, both of whom got called up to the majors in 2012 and had impacts on their clubs.

This year, the Peoria Javelinas will have minor league single season stolen base record holder Billy Hamilton in the outfield, as well as Padres top prospect Rymer Liriano. The Salt River Rafters will have Matt Williams managing the team, which should get some local Diamondback fans out to the games at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

If you are going to be in the greater Phoenix area for any amount of time in the next month and a half, make sure you head out to an Arizona Fall League game to see a lot of the players that will be playing for your favorite MLB team in the near future. Single game tickets are only $7, or you can buy a season pass for $85 for one person, or $115 for a family of up to six. These passes will get you into any AFL game all season long. Most games start at 12:35, so get out there and enjoy the fantastic fall weather of Arizona and see some high quality baseball.

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