This year it’s the twentieth anniversary of the Arizona Fall League, and the new season kicked off on Tuesday in the Phoenix area. The Indians prospects participating this year are on the Scottsdale Scorpions – along with prospects from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the New York Yankees, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants. The Scorpions are managed by Carlos Mendoza (manager of the Class-A Yankees affiliate Charleston RiverDogs), with Phil Clark (hitting coach for the Columbus Clippers) serving as the hitting coach and Mike Couchee (pitching coach of the Arizona League Giants) as the pitching coach.
The Scorpions lost their first game of the season against the Phoenix Desert Dogs (Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, and Tampa Bay Rays) 4-3 on Tuesday. Indians prospects in the game – Ronny Rodriguez played second and went 1-4, and Tyler Holt played right field and went 1-4. Trey Haley pitched one inning and allowed 2 earned runs on 1 hit, walking 2.
The Indians have eight players in Scottsdale this year. Here is the breakdown:
Shawn Armstrong – RHP – Spent the 2012 season split between three teams, the Lake County Captains, the Carolina Mudcats, and the Akron Aeros, with the largest percentage of his innings pitched coming with the Mudcats. His 2012 numbers combined on the three teams – 2-3 with a 1.60 ERA and a WHIP of 1.197. Armstrong, 22, was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2008 draft by the Indians.
Trey Haley – RHP – He also spent the 2012 season split between three teams, the Arizona Rookie League Indians, the Carolina Mudcats and the Akron Aeros, with most of his innings split between the Mudcats and Aeros. With all three teams this year he was 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.164 WHIP. The 22-year-old Haley was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft.
T.J. House – LHP – House spent time with the Carolina Mudcats and the Akron Aeros; he was in Akron for most of the season. With both teams he was 10-5 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.212 WHIP. House, 23, was drafted by the Indians in the 16th round of the 2008 draft.
Matt Packer – LHP – Packer was well-traveled in 2012 as he played with the Arizona Rookie League Indians, the Carolina Mudcats, the Akron Aeros, and the Columbus Clippers. He threw the most innings with Columbus, but also made a number of appearances in Akron. Packer was 4-5 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.355 WHIP across all four teams. His numbers declined significantly when he got to Columbus – his ERA shot up from 2.41 in Akron to 5.50 with the Clippers. The 25-year-old Packer was drafted in the 32nd round by the Indians in the 2009 draft.
Alex Monsalve – The right-handed Monsalve spent his 2012 season with the Lake County Captains and the Carolina Mudcats, with more of his at-bats coming with the Captains. Between the two teams he hit .256/.311/.373 with 8 home runs. Monsalve, 20, is from Venezuela.
Ronny Rodriguez – Rodriguez, a right-handed hitter, spent the entire 2012 season with the Carolina Mudcats, where he hit .264/.300/.452 with 19 home runs. The 20-year-old Rodriguez is from the Dominican Republic.
Tyler Holt – The right-handed Holt split the 2012 season between the Carolina Mudcats and the Akron Aeros, with more of his at-bats coming with Carolina. He hit .258/.340/.320 with 0 home runs with both teams. Holt, 23, was drafted in the 10th round of the 2010 draft.
Carlos Moncrief – The left-handed hitting Moncrief spent the entire 2012 season with the Carolina Mudcats, where he hit .249/.339/.465 with 15 home runs. Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies out of high school in the 20th round of the 2007 draft, but did not sign. He re-entered the 2008 draft after a year at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida, and was drafted in the 14th round by the Indians.
In his list of players to watch with the Scottsdale Scorpions, Keith Law named Ronny Rodriguez. The others he mentioned – RHP Victor Black (Pirates), RHP Mark Montgomery (Yankees), 3B Kaleb Cowart (Angels), and OF Randal Grichuk (Angels). Also on the Scorpions is a name often mentioned when the Yankees’ top prospects are discussed, RHP Dellin Betances.