A tradition continues.
Four of the six teams in the prestigious Arizona Fall League will be dotted with alumni of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series, including some of the top prospects in all of baseball.
That includes Ricky Tiedemann, who along with Dasan Brown, will be among the Blue Jays representatives on the Surprise Saguaros. Considered to be the No. 24 prospect in the game in FSS Plus analyst Joe Doyle’s most recent, post-Draft Top 100 list, the 21-year-old lefty starter was a perfect candidate for AFL action after missing roughly two and a half months this season due to injury. Had he not, he was considered to be a potential big league option for Toronto, but instead was just promoted to Triple-A Buffalo, for whom he threw four scoreless frames in his September 22 debut.
As for Brown, this will be the culmination of a long season, one that began with a surprise trip to the World Baseball Classic as a member of Team Canada, and had seemingly finished up with a Northwest League Championship — alongside fellow FSS alum Adam Macko — as a member of the Vancouver Canadians, where he set new career highs in home runs and RBI.
Although not organization-mates, Dominic Pipkin and Cooper Hjerpe will join forces on the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. Pipkin, an alum of the first-ever International Week event back in 2017, was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies at No. 257 overall in the following year’s MLB Draft, and has climbed slowly but surely in their organization ever since, finishing the year after in Double-A after his first career promotion to that level. Having started that year late in mid-June due to injury, he was another prime candidate to find some more innings in the desert.
The same can be said for Hjerpe, who missed almost all of the second half of the season due to injury, but for two brief relief outings with High-A Peoria in September. The No. 22 pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2022 MLB Draft, the 22-year-old southpaw had been off to a strong start to his pro career before being shelved, striking out 26 batters in his first 23 1/3 innings before the injury.
Drew Romo served as the everyday catcher for the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats this season before a late-year promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque, where he hit .308 in a brief season-ending stay…or so we thought. Instead, he’s off to join the Salt River Rafters, where he’ll continue to refine his game as he looks to compete for a spot on the Colorado Rockies in next year’s big league camp.
Lastly, the Mesa Solar Sox will have Oakland Athletics prospect Max Muncy this year. The No. 25 pick in the 2021 MLB Draft about 18 months after an appearance at the FSS SoCal Pro Combine, the 21-year-old shortstop split the year between High-A and Double-A, producing a career-best .764 OPS along the way.
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