The Arizona Fall League (AFL) has announced the rosters for the Rising Stars game. The game will be played on Saturday night, and televised on MLB Network starting at 8 p.m. ET. In advance of the game, I'll be highlighting a few prospects from each team below.
Jarred Cosart (Astros) has been named the starting pitcher for the East Division squad. His numbers aren't pretty (7.36 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in four starts spanning 11 innings), but as I repeat time and time again, they are only a small piece of the puzzle in evaluating a prospect. Cosart has the type of lively arm that make his low strikeout totals puzzling. He's inconsistent, but the stuff is good enough to make him worth dreaming on in dynasty leagues.
Kyle Gibson (Twins) is opposing Cosart, starting for the West Division squad. His stellar play to start the AFL season has twice earned him recognition in the AFL Updates (October 17 and October 26). A messy start in which he allowed six earned runs in two innings pitched on October 29 drags down his AFL total line, but positive reports on his stuff outweigh one bad game. His innings will be limited next year, as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery, but he should reach The Show in 2013, and should be back on dynasty league radars.
Mark Montgomery (Yankees) is a strikeout machine out of the bullpen. In 64.1 innings split between High-A and Double-A this year, he struck out a staggering 99 batters, helping him earn a 1.54 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. He's following up the minor league season with a silly AFL showing, striking out 15 batters in 8.1 innings and tallying a 1.08 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. Hudson Belinsky wrote about Montgomery in the September 17, Monday Morning Ten Pack. Montgomery uses his fastball and slider to miss bats, and Belinsky speculates that he might have a chance to earn a spot in the Yankees' bullpen next year. If he does reach the big leagues next year, he could be a source of holds depending on the teams usage of him.
Gary Brown (Giants) had a rough AFL debut in 2011, but is playing better in his second go-round. In 43 at-bats, he is slashing .326/.388/.395. He's a speedy outfielder who can help fantasy owners in stolen bases if he gets on-base enough to make the most of his 80-grade tool. Jason Churchill recently stated that Brown could be a trade candidate if the Giants sign a long term center fielder this offseason. He may get to the majors in 2013, but isn't the type of elite prospect to expect instant success.
Anthony Rendon (Nationals) is getting on-base at a solid rate (.363), but isn't putting much of a charge into the ball (.098 ISO). In 51 at-bats, he has just five extra base hits, all of which are doubles. He is walking at a high rate, 13.6 percent, and isn't striking out a ton, 16.9 percent. The most important thing is that he's healthy, and gaining professional baseball experience. He's a very desirable fantasy baseball prospect, and now might prove to be a buy-low period in dynasty leagues.
Tommy Joseph (Phillies) is at home in the AFL, literally, as he was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He hasn't received many at-bats, totaling only 29, and his stats don't jump off the page. They weren't all that gaudy in the minor league season either, but as a young (21 years old) catcher with plus power potential already playing in Double-A, he remains a notable fantasy baseball prospect in dynasty leagues.