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The Arizona Fall League is returning this October

It’s going back to its previous time in October and November.

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In 2020, the Arizona Fall League was a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, as were many other events. The league was cancelled.

In 2019, MLB had moved the AFL’s schedule up, from its previous mid-October start to a mid-September start. The idea was to get it going very soon after the minor league season ended, so that players didn’t have to ramp up after having several weeks off.

The AFL is going to return this fall, and back in its original time frame:

The 2021 campaign will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 13 and will consist of 30 regular-season games. The annual Fall Stars Game, the Futures Game of the AFL, is back and will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13. The Championship Game will take place one week later, on Nov. 20.

... with the Minor League season this year not starting until May and the playoffs extending late into September, a return to the old October starting time made more sense.

A full schedule has not yet been announced, but with the later-in-the-fall starting time, I would expect some games to be in the afternoon, some at night. In 2019, with the mid-September start time, almost all games were played at night.

Here is how prospects from various teams get split up among the six AFL teams:

Each Major League team will send seven players to fill the rosters of the six teams. Teams who have their Spring Training home at any of the six ballparks in operation for the AFL will have their prospects assigned to those squads — Glendale (Dodgers, White Sox), Mesa (Cubs, A’s), Scottsdale (Giants), Salt River (D-backs, Rockies), Peoria (Mariners, Padres) and Surprise (Rangers, Royals).

Players from teams that train elsewhere in Arizona, or in Florida, will also be assigned to AFL squads. The list of prospects assigned to the AFL hasn’t yet been announced, but I would be surprised if Brennen Davis is NOT sent to the AFL this fall. It would get him some more playing time against top-quality minor league pitching. Generally, in the past AFL rosters have been announced toward the end of August.

If you live in the Phoenix area or plan to travel there, going to an AFL game is fun and inexpensive (in the past it’s been around $6 per ticket, general admission). For most games only 100 or so people show, mainly family members and friends of the players. You can hear everything, and can see prospects who could wind up in the major leagues in 2022. As noted in the link above:

Around 60 percent of AFL players have made a Major League roster. There were more than 40 players who once played in the AFL who were named to this year’s All-Star Game, including MVP Vladimir Guerrero [Jr.].

I’ll have more info on the AFL when schedules and rosters are announced.