(Photo Credit: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
The Dodgers will be well-represented on the prospect front on Saturday night at Surprise Stadium as position players Cody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun and Alex Verdugo will participate in the Fall Stars Game, the top talent showcase of the Arizona Fall League.
Fifteen of this year’s Fall Stars are ranked on MLB.com’s current Top 100 Prospects List. Those 15 players include five infielders, seven outfielders and three pitchers. The rosters also include 10 first-round draft choices and seven players who participated in the 2016 Futures Game during the MLB All-Star Game weekend. All three of the Dodgers’ representatives are listed in the MLB Top 100 — Bellinger ranks 31st, Verdugo 45th and Calhoun 87th.
Bellinger is hitting .278/.381/.444 with three doubles, one home run and five RBI in 36 ABs through 11 fall league games. Calhoun is hitting .250/.286/.400 with one home run and three RBI in 20 at-bats over seven games. Verdugo, who was victim to a slow start and is still battling fatigue problems, is batting only .128/.209/.231 with two doubles, three triples and one RBI in 12 games.
While the Dodgers are sending three players to the showcase, every Major League Baseball organization is offered the opportunity to be represented by at least one player in the contest. Scouting and farm directors from every MLB organization, in consultation with Arizona Fall League Director Steve Cobb and his staff, selected the players for the annual affair which features top prospects from the Arizona Fall League’s East Division and West Division clubs.
The West Division is represented by the Glendale Desert Dogs (Astros, Cardinals, Dodgers, Nationals and White Sox), Peoria Javelinas (Orioles, Padres, Mariners, Rays and Reds), and Surprise Saguaros (Pirates, Rangers, Red Sox, Royals and Twins). Teams represented in the East include the Rockies, Athletics, Blue Jays, Cubs, Indians, Marlins, Braves, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Tigers, Angels, Giants, Mets, Phillies and Yankees.
The Dodgers have a total of eight players competing for the Desert Dogs in the AFL this fall. In addition to Bellinger, Calhoun and Verdugo, infielder Timmy Locastro, along with pitchers Chris Anderson, Joe Broussard, Ralston Cash and Corey Copping are also on the Glendale roster.
Bellinger, Calhoun, Verdugo and Broussard all played together at Double-A Tulsa in 2016 and were later promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City during the team’s Pacific Coast League playoff run.
The Saturday, November 5 contest is slated to begin at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time and will be televised on the MLB Network.