Six Atlanta Braves prospects will represent the organization in this year's Arizona Fall League. The AFL is the off-season league that showcases the best minor league talent from all 30 organizations. The league also showcases the best young managerial talent from around the minors, and the Braves will send double-A Mississippi manager Aaron Holbert there to manage the Braves prospects and the other prospects on the Phoenix Desert Dogs roster.
The Braves slate of prospects is highlighted by third baseman Edward Salcedo, Atlanta's top international signing two years ago. Salcedo has struggled a lot in the second half of the season, but he's put together a solid-yet-unspectacular campaign at high-A Lynchburg. The Braves obviously still think highly of him, and continue to push him to play against the top talent in baseball.
Highly-touted shortstop prospect Nick Ahmed will also be headed to Arizona. He's put up good numbers in his first full professional season, also at high-A Lynchburg, surprising many by stealing 38 bases. Australian catcher Matt Kennelly will complete the fielders that the Braves are sending to the AFL. He's a surprising pick, this being his sixth year in the organization. He's not really a prospect, and may be a late fill-in on the roster for the injured Christian Bethancourt.
The Braves will send one of their top pitchers to Arizona in starter Zeke Spruill. He has posted solid numbers this year at Mississippi, furthering his prospect pedigree as a mid-rotation workhorse. Starting pitcher Gus Schlosser is also another surprising pick for the league. A 17th-round pick last year, he has emerged as a workhorse starter this season, putting up solid numbers at Lynchburg.
The final player going to Arizona is Cory Rasmus. The brother of Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus, Cory has been in the Braves organization for seven years after being drafted in the first round in 2006, suffering through various arm and shoulder injuries over that span. It's good to see that the Braves still believe in him, and with a solid tour in Arizona he could figure into the Braves bullpen plans next season.