Freddie Freeman, the Atlanta Braves first baseman of the future, will not only get a September call up to the Major Leagues tomorrow, but he'll join some of the best prospects in the game when he competes in the Arizona Fall League which starts in mid-October. Freeman will have a chance to be managed by one of the best first baseman of the past 30 years as a member of the Phoenix Desert Dogs skippered by Don Mattingly.
Brandon Beachy, the breakout non-drafted free agent currently pitching for the Gwinnett Braves, will highlight the pitchers the Braves are sending to Arizona. Kyle Cofield, Eric Cordier, and Michael Broadway will also toe the rubber for the Desert Dogs. Outfielder Cory Harrilchak will round out the six player Atlanta contingent as the only A-ball prospect in the group.
Cofield has had an up and down season and missed some time due to injury. There was a bit of a buzz about him during spring training this year, and like many of the arms going to Arizona, Cofield could break out at any time and turn into a solid Major League prospect.
Cordier was acquired several years ago from the Royals in a spring training deal that sent light hitting short stop Tony Pena Jr. to Kansas City. Cordier has suffered several major injuries in his career, so he's a bit older and a bit behind many of the other guys in double-A, but he has a live arm and has now put together two back to back solid season.
Broadway was drafted way back in 2005 in the fourth round. He's been largely unimpressive as primarily a reliever, but he has slowly climbed the ladder towards Atlanta. He's an interesting add to the AFL roster since he likely won't make the Braves 40-man roster once again. The Braves would essentially be showcasing him for other teams.
Harrilchak is an interesting young outfielder, currently at Myrtle Beach. He's been a streaky player so far in his pro career, but he's got some speed, doubles power, and seems to be a decent all-around hitter. The tough competition of the AFL will be a major test for him.
Overall it looks like a good squad going out there.
According to the Phoenix Desert Dogs roster, shortstop Tyler Pastornicky has also made the Arizona Fall League. Not sure why his name wasn't in the original release that the beat writers got. He could be on the "taxi squad," which is a collection of players who fill in when there are injuries to the main roster. Pastornicky was one of the prospects the Braves acquired in the Yunel Escobar deal.