Six Boston Red Sox minor leaguers are lined up to play in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) in 2014.
The AFL rosters were announced Tuesday. Infielders Deven Marrero and Sean Coyle, as well as pitchers Keith Couch, Aaron Kurcz, Robby Scott and Madison Younginer, are among the Red Sox farmhands who will suit up for the Surprise Saguaros.
The Saguaros are comprised of players from the Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers organizations. Marrero, who MLB.com lists as Boston?s No. 11 prospect, is the Red Sox?s highest-ranked prospect scheduled to participate, though it?s possible recently signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo could wind up playing, too.
“We welcome the class of 2014 and the arrival of the Arizona Fall League’s 23rd season,” AFL director Steve Cobb said, according to MLB.com. “It’s an exciting array of top draft choices and minor league All-Stars who have excelled in the early stages of their professional careers. We continue to take great pride in the role the Fall League serves in Major League Baseball’s player development process.?
Marrero, known for his defensive prowess, was a first-round pick in 2012. The 24-year-old hit .291 in 68 games with Double-A Portland this season before earning a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he has hit .215 through 44 games.
Coyle has made waves this season after battling injuries in 2013. The 2010 third-round pick is hitting .299 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs in 91 games at Double-A in 2014. Coyle is eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter if he isn?t added to Boston?s 40-man roster, so the organization certainly will be keeping a watchful eye on the 22-year-old’s development.
All four of the aforementioned pitchers also will be Rule 5 eligible if not added to the Red Sox’s 40-man roster before Nov. 20.
The 2014 AFL season begins Oct. 7. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who played for the AFL’s Scottsdale Scorpions in 2004, is among the league’s several notable alumni.