Arenado, Wheeler, Paulsen headed to Arizona Fall League
The Colorado Rockies are sending third baseman, center fielder and first baseman to the Arizona Fall League. The Rockies haven’t finalized which four pitchers they will send to play for the Salt River Rafters.
The Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, who share the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., will staff the Rafters along with the Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. Triple-A Colorado Springs manager Stu Cole will manage the Rafters. Top prospects coming off seasons at the high Class A and Double-A levels typically comprise the fall league rosters.
Wheeler will be the Rockies priority player, a designation granted each team at one position to assure maximum playing time for one of its prospects. Wheeler, 23, is finishing a breakout season at Double-A Tulsa where he is hitting .292/.370/.551 with 33 home runs and 86 RBI. Texas League managers chose Wheeler as the Best Power Prospect in the annual best tools survey complied by Baseball America.
Arenado, 20, has developed both offensively and defensively this season at high Class A Modesto. He’s hitting .297/.350/.475 with 17 home runs and a minor-league leading 113 RBI. Additionally, Arenado has nearly as many walks (46) as strikeouts (49). California League managers selected Arenado as the Best Defensive Third Baseman in league in the Baseball America survey.
Paulsen, who turns 24 in late October, is hitting .244/.300/.415 with 18 homers and 73 RBI for Tulsa. He was named the Texas League’s Best Defensive First Baseman in the Baseball America survey.
, who is 12-5, 3.44 at Modesto with 43 walks and 175 strikeouts will not be going to the fall league after a quantum leap in innings this year. He has logged 164 2/3 innings after pitching a combined 67 innings last year at short-season Class A Tri-City and low Class A Asheville to launch his professional career.
Play in the fall league begins Oct. 4 and ends Nov. 17 with the championship game set for Nov. 19. The Rising Stars game, which is fall league’s all-star game, is scheduled for Nov. 5.
Last year, the Rockies sent relievers, and Adam Jorgenson and starting pitcher to the fall league along with catcher , outfielder and shortstop .
Originally, the Rockies planned to send shortstopto the fall league and designated him their priority player. Gomez was injured and unable to go to fall league. Field replaced him and inherited that priority player designation. Field moved up from Modesto to Tulsa this year and shifted to second base because Gomez returned to Tulsa.