On Tuesday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the 2014 Arizona Fall League, including seven Orioles minor leaguers who will be playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs alongside of the selected prospects from the Tigers, Brewers, White Sox, and Dodgers.
The seven players who will be attending are: Pitchers Parker Bridwell, Zach Davies, Mychal Givens, and Ashur Tolliver; catcher Michael Ohlman; third baseman Jason Esposito; and outfielder Dariel Alvarez. Additionally, Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin will serve as the pitching coach for Glendale.
Both Ohlman and Alvarez will be playing in the AFL for the second straight year. Their team last year, the Surprise Saguaros, won the league.
Teams typically send players to the AFL who might need a little extra work either due to injury or inexperience. They don't necessarily send their biggest prospects, although sometimes they do. For instance, last year the team sent Jonathan Schoop so that he could get extra at-bats after missing time during the 2013 season due to a back injury.
Others might just be players the team wants to evaluate before facing a deadline to add them to the 40-man roster, which was the case with Ohlman and Tim Berry last year. That will be the case for Bridwell and Esposito this year, who must be added or face exposure to the Rule 5 draft.
Though not all teams send all of their top prospects, 20 of MLB.com's top 100 prospects are on AFL rosters, so it is some experience against some players who are seen as top notch. For most of these players who haven't played above Double-A or even High-A, that can matter.
The league starts play on October 7 and runs through November 15, with the Fall Stars Game to be held on November 1.