The Arizona Fall League Rosters were announced today, which always makes me giddy. The Tigers are sending five prospects to the league: Tyler Collins, Kyle Lobstein, Devon Travis, Corey Knebel, and Will Clinard.
The big story here is Corey Knebel earning a spot at the fall league. The Tigers supplementary round draft pick (39th overall) has performed admirably in the Midwest League. He's allowed 2 ER in 28 innings. However, it's extremely rare that someone from low-A ball attends the AFL, and even more unique that Knebel is attending in the year that he was drafted. According to Jason Beck on twitter, the last time that happened was Andy Oliver in 2009. I posed the question "will Knebel go to the AFL" after watching him throw this weekend. I came away extremely impressed.
Devon Travis securing a spot in the fall league is noteworthy as well. By league rules, you have to get a special exemption to play in the league if you're not in AA ball or higher (Knebel did as well, of course). Travis has absolutely feasted on minor league pitching this year, putting up a 343/416/479 triple slash between low-A and high-A ball.
The other three players come as no surprise. Collins was in major league camp this year, Will Clinard is an advanced relief arm, and Kyle Lobstein is on the verge of becoming the Tigers emergency starter.
Remember, performance in the AFL is not necessarily indicative of true talent. It's a hitter's dream out there, and if you see the Tigers prospects giving up a few runs, don't fret.
There was also this tweet:
#Tigers in 2013 AFL: RHPs Clinard & Knebel, LHP Lobstein, IF Travis, OF Collins, pitcher & infielder TBD.— Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) August 27, 2013
The Tigers may send two other guys after all.