2023 Arizona Fall League: Salt River Rafters Roster Analysis


The 30th season of the Arizona Fall League is nearly here. On Sept. 22, the league released its preliminary rosters for the upcoming season, which begins on Oct. 2 and runs through the championship game, which will be held on Nov. 11 at Scottsdale Stadium. The annual Fall Stars Game will be played on Nov. 5 at Sloan Park. We are analyzing the rosters for all six Arizona Fall League teams.

In addition to the traditional six-week slate, the AFL this year will feature two special site days. On Oct. 14, all three games will played at Goodyear Ballpark, the spring training home of the Guardians and Reds. Two weeks later, two of the league’s games (Salt River vs. Glendale and Peoria vs. Mesa) will be held at Hohokam Stadium, in Mesa.

This year’s rosters include nine of Baseball America’s current Top 100 prospects, led by White Sox shortstop Colson Montgomery, who ranks No. 14.

Top 100 Prospects: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Tigers (53), Jace Jung, 2B, Tigers (98). 

Intriguing Prospects: Beyond Jobe – one of the top two pitching prospects in the league – you could make a case that Salt River has the most talented pitching staff.

The Rafters have multiple pitchers with MLB experience in the Braves LHP Dylan Dodd and RHP Darius Vines. Two former Top 100 prospects in the Tigers RHP Wilmer Flores and the D-Backs LHP Blake Walston, as well as talented young hurlers like RHP Tanner Kohlhepp.

Power shouldn’t be a problem for the Rafters. Tigers 2B Jace Jung hit 28 home runs this year while showing improved defense as well. D’backs 1B Ivan Melendez hit 30 home runs between High-A and Double-A. D’backs 2B/3B Sterlin Thompson has power (14 home runs) and speed (17 stolen bases).

Tigers OF Justice Bigbie is coming off one of the best seasons in the minors in 2023. He arrives in the AFL looking to cement his status as one of the breakout prospects of the 2023 season. He hit .341/.403/.532, handled a mid-season promotion to Double-A and if finishing the year in Triple-A.

Rockies OF Benny Montgomery, the team’s 2021 first-round pick, is looking to have a strong October after an up-and-down season at High-A Spokane.


PitchersTeamBTHt.Wt.DOBBirthplace2023 Level
Barger, AlecCOLRR6’22013/24/1998Champaign, ILHartford (AA)
Dodd, DylanATLLL6’22106/6/1998Elk Grove, ILGwinnett (AAA)
Dombkowski, NickPITRL6’22108/9/1998West Springfield, MAIndianapolis (AAA)
Ercolani, AlessandroPITRR6’21854/20/2004Borgo Maggiore, San MarinoBradenton (A)
Flores, WilmerDETRR6’42252/20/2001Valencia, VenezuelaErie (AA)
Flowers, JCPITRR6’31955/19/1998Orange Park, FLIndianapolis (AAA)
Halligan, PatrickATLRR6’623010/4/1999Vienna, VAMississippi (AA)
Hill, JadenCOLRR6’423412/22/1999Ashdown, ARSpokane (A+)
Jobe, JacksonDETRR6’21907/30/2002Irving, TexasErie (AA)
Junker, CameronPITRR6’52209/3/1997Fort Thomas, KYAltoona (AA)
Kohlhepp, TannerDETLR6’42105/27/1999Eau Claire, WILakeland (A)
McMahon, ChrisCOLRR6’22172/4/1999West Chester, PAHartford (AA)
McSteen, JakeATLRL6’02153/12/1996Great Falls, VAMississippi (AA)
Mejia, JuanCOLRR6’32007/4/2000Santo Domingo, Dominican RepublicRound Rock (AAA)
Meza, CarlosARILL6’11552/10/2001Charallave, VenezuelaAmarillo (AA)
Montes de Oca, ChristianARIRR6’42308/30/1999Santo Domingo, Dominican RepublicAmarillo (AA)
Petit, RJDETRR6’83009/23/1999Rock Hill, SXErie (AA)
Pope, AustinARIRR6’321010/26/1998White Plains, NYReno (AAA)
Rice, JakeARILL6’12207/19/1997Birmingham, ALAmarillo (AA)
Samaniego, TylerPITRR6’42051/30/1999Huntsville, ALAltoona (AA)
Smith, DylanDETRR6’21805/28/2000Huntsville, ALErie (AA)
Vines, DariusATLRR6’11904/30/1998Oxnard, CAGwinnett (AAA)
Walston, BlakeARILL6’51756/28/2001Wilmington, NCReno (AAA)
Wilson, BrooksATLLR6’22053/15/1996Lakeland, FLGwinnett (AAA)
Williams, CaseCOLRR6’32102/16/2002Akron, OHHartford (AA)
CatchersTeamBTHt.Wt.DOBBirthplace2023 Level
Bins, CarterPITRR5’1121510/7/1998Concord, CAAltoona (AA)
Roberts, CalebARILR5’111952/9/2000West Palm Beach, FLAmarillo (AA)
Romo, DrewCOLSR5’112058/29/2001Longmont, COAlbuquerque (AAA)
Tolve, TylerATLLR6’02007/16/2000Atlanta, GAMississippi (AA)
InfieldersTeamBTHt.Wt.DOBBirthplace2023 Level
Brannigan, JackPITRR6’01903/11/2001Chicago, ILGreensboro (A+)
Jung, JaceDETLR6’020510/4/2000San Antonio, TexasErie (AA)
Lee, Hao-YuDETRR5’91902/3/2003New Taipei, TaiwanWest Michigan (A+)
McCabe, DavidATLSR6’32303/25/2000Oshawa, Ontario, CanadaRome (A+)
Melendez, IvanARIRR6’22251/24/2000El Paso, TexasAmarillo (AA)
Ogans, KeshawnATLRR5’81808/26/2001San Francisco, CARome (A+)
Thompson, SterlinCOLLR6’42006/26/2001Longmont, COHartford (AA)
OutfieldersTeamBTHt.Wt.DOBBirthplace2023 Level
Bowen, JasePITRR6’01909/2/2000Northwood, OhioAltoona (AA)
Bigbie, JusticeDETRR6’22001/24/1999Chesapeake, VAToledo (AAA)
Montgomery, BennyCOLRR6’42009/9/2002Paoli, PASpokane (A+)
Vukovich, AJARIRR6’22107/20/2001Mukwonago, WIAmarillo (AA)

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