Although people's main attention in the world of baseball will be on Game 6 of the World Series between the Phillies and Astros, there is actually a highly touted game that will be taking place this afternoon that will feature some of the future and even the past of this Rays organization: the Arizona Fall League (AFL) All-Star Game.
This season the Rays will feature four prospects on the roster for the American League, all of whom have played with the Mesa Solar Sox group this year, to which the Rays are affiliated with for the Fall League season.
The AL team will have two right-handers at their disposal this afternoon, as Antonio Menendez and Evan Reifert made the All-Star team with their fielding counterparts, Ronny Simon, a second baseman who came to the Rays in the Jordan Luplow trade, and catcher Blake Hunt, "who will not participate," according to Jesse Borek and Sam Dykstra in their AFL All-Star article.
Reifert, who was traded to the Rays from the Brewers in the Brosseau deal, has been dominant, to say the least, in the Arizona Fall League, pitching in 10.2 innings while putting together a 0.00 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 7 games, definitely earning his spot in this game.
His pitching partner, Menendez, has also been solid, pitching a 3.86 ERA with 12 strikeouts so far in the Arizona Fall League this year.
Beyond the pitchers, Ronny Simon and Blake Hunt both have shown a lot of good that led them to this selection, with Simon slashing a line of .320/.402/.520 and Hunt hitting a line of .267/.353/.400 in his Fall League season.
Blake Hunt is an interesting prospect for the Rays to watch heading into 2023, coming off what was a solid season defensively behind the dish, as there is some promise with him, especially with him coming to the club in the Blake Snell blockbuster.
Beyond the current crop of Rays talent, though, Reid Brignac, a former Ray from 2008 through 2013, and now a manager in the Mets organization, will be leading the National League AFL All-Star team, as he was given the job to manage the club this afternoon.
The Arizona Fall League has been known as the "top of the top" in terms of talent that has been produced, with many of these prospects making Hall of Fame careers out of themselves after their time, maybe hoping that one of these young Rays prospects can do the same after this Fall League year.
The Fall League season will continue for Reid Brignac, our 4 Fall Stars, and the rest of our Rays representatives until next week, when the league will hold its Playoff and Championship weekends, although Mesa is off pace to make the playoffs this season.