Friday, August 31, 2018

Phils announce eight prospects to participate in Arizona Fall League

Sixto Sanchez with Lakewood in 2017, image- Jay Floyd
The Arizona Fall League is a place for aspiring Major Leaguers to go to develop their baseball skills in the Autumn months. As the weather begins to cool elsewhere, the diamond stays hot for many of baseball's most promising young talents in Arizona.

Rosters in the AFL are a mixture of different organizations' prospects, with each major league club sending seven, or sometimes eight, players that combine to fill up the 35-man rosters of the league's six teams.

With rosters announced on Thursday for the upcoming 2018 AFL season, Phillies players will be merged with players from the Mets, Reds, Giants and Astros to make up the Scottsdale Scorpions roster.



Top Phillies prospect Sixto Sanchez is slated to see action with the Scorpions after missing much of the season with an injury. The righty hurler, sidelined since June 3rd, has missed time with elbow inflammation.

In eight starts this season for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, the 20-year-old Dominican Republic native sported a 4-3 record with a 2.51 ERA while striking out 45 batters and walking 11 in 46 2/3 inninigs.

Also on the Scorpions roster are right-handed pitchers Seth McGarry, Tyler Viza and Luke Leftwich, all of which pitched at the Double-A level with Reading this year.

McGarry, a 24-year-old, was acquired by the Phils last season from the Pirates in a trade for reliever Joaquin Benoit.  The reliever has a 4.31 ERA in 41 appearances this season.  

Viza, 23, has also spent time with Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year.  Overall in 26 outings, 10 starts, Viza sports a 4-6 record with a 3.05 ERA and a .253 batting average against.  

Leftwich, a reliever, if he reaches the major leagues, would become just the second third-generation pitcher in big league history.  The 24-year-old was a 7th round draft pick in 2015.  Leftwich has a 3.75 ERA in 43 appearances (one start) this year.

Also on the Scorpions roster from the Phils organization are well-touted shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa, outfielder/third baseman Luke Williams, first baseman Darick Hall and outfielder Austin Listi.

The 20-year-old Gamboa, a native of Venezuela, has posted a .219 average with 14 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 37 RBI in 112 games this season with Clearwater.

Williams, 22, was the Phils' 3rd round draft selection in 2015.  He has posted a .251 average with nine homers and 42 RBI through 102 games with Clearwater this season. 

Hall and Listi were teammates in college at Dallas Baptist and have played together, thus far, at three levels of the Phillies' minor league developmental system since Listi was drafted last year.  Both are currently part of the Reading roster.

Opening Day for the 2018 AFL season is Tuesday, October 9th while the league will conclude with its annual championship game on Saturday, November 17th.  The league's 13th annual "Fall Stars Game" will take place on Saturday, November 3rd.
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