D-backs set Arizona Fall League roster
Seven, four of them pitchers, to play for Phoenix Desert Dogs
SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs will have seven Minor Leaguers in this year's Arizona Fall League, including four pitchers.
"We're excited about this group," farm director A.J. Hinch said.
Pitchers Hector Ambriz, Tony Barnette, Brooks Brown and Reid Mahon, catcher John Hester, infielder Rusty Ryal and outfielder Evan Frey will play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
The Desert Dogs, which will also include players from the A's, Blue Jays, Rockies and Twins, will play their home games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Here's a closer look at the D-backs players with comments from Hinch:
Ambriz: "An opportunity for him to bounce back from a struggling year. Getting some more mound time and being surrounded by the pitchers and the position players that he will be in the Fall League is a good challenge for him. It allows him to continue his year and he's pitched better over the course of the season."
Barnette: "He's probably the lowest-profile guy coming out of it. He continues to miss bats. He has a good delivery and they've done a great job in Double-A of getting his delivery very sound. He earned the promotion. It's a promotion for him. It's the first time he will be exposed to this level of competition, and he's done it by good old-fashioned hard work."
Mahon: "He's probably the best story of the group. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent. One of our scouts, Mike Doughtry, found him at the University of Minnesota as a very unrefined, arm-strength-type pitcher. Our pitching department has done a great job with him and he's raced through the Minors. High velocity, good movement. A kid that hasn't been given anything, but he's pitched his tail off."
Hester: "With the trades that we made we hoped that people would step up and emerge as players deserving of these opportunities and Hester did. He's a pretty polished college catcher that has navigated his way through. He's battled a couple of bizarre incidents, a car wreck and was hit by a foul ball in the dugout. He got to Double-A and struggled early and rallied late. He's got the physical attribute and he's got some brains from Stanford."
Ryal: "Pretty athletic guy who is pretty much a baseball rat. He can play all over the field and probably his best attribute is that he doesn't do anything really poorly. He's kind of a throwback, dirty uniform every game, his father was a big leaguer. He knows the game, smart player, knows his strengths and limitations and put up a fantastic year in Double-A."
Frey: "You talk about guys that come up and grab opportunities, and he's a guy that sticks out. What a great job by our scouting department to find a 10th-rounder that after his first full season can end up in the Fall League is kudos to them. He's a true leadoff guy, high energy, plays all three outfield positons, he's a tough at-bat and knows how to grind. He does a lot of what we look for. Now he just needs to play more. It will be a big challenge coming out of A ball, but we wouldn't put him there if we didn't think he could handle it."
Brown: "He got to Double-A quickly and ended up having to repeat there this year, and he's performed about the same in both years. He's ready to face a little better competition, get a little more exposure and get over the hiccup of Double-A. He's earned his way out of Double-A and this is a reward for him."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.