The 2019 Arizona Fall League starts up today, roughly three weeks earlier than in years past. Sterling Sharp is the scheduled starter for the Saguaros, as he continues to work his way back from a midseason oblique injury.
Sharp is one of four pitchers and four position players sent by Washington to the AFL this year. A lot of the rules have been changed, though it’s not clear if the “taxi squad” – players who can only play on Wednesdays and Saturdays – are among them. My gut says it’s gone; if anyone and everyone can play, why bother keeping that rule?
For a quick review of the rest of the Nats’ contingent:
- Nick Banks – OF
- Cole Freeman – CF/2B
- Luis Garcia – SS/2B
- Jakson Reetz – C
- Nick Raquet – LHP
- Jacob Condra-Bogan – RHP
- Andrew Lee – RHP
Only Banks and Sharp are Rule 5 candidates for the first time; Reetz and Lee passed through last year. Raquet, Condra-Bogan, and Freeman will be Rule 5 candidates next year.
It’s, um, no surprise that Garcia is the youngest player on the Sagauros roster, and the third youngest in the league, behind the Cards’ Ivan Herrera and the M’s Julio Rodriguez, who was born three days before the 20th century ended in 2000.
Garcia is one of three SS’s listed but the only one those three with significant time at 3B, so you may see him there or at 2B since it’s pretty obvious his presence was requested (and the Nats were more than happy to keep Carter Kieboom in
witness protection West Palm Beach) by the scouts and MLB.