PHOENIX -- Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Didi Gregorius, Adam Eaton and so many others, six D-backs prospects were named to the Salt River Rafters roster of the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday. Jake Barrett, Andrew Chafin, Jake Lamb, Nick Ahmed, Matt Stites and Mike Freeman will join prospects from the Blue Jays, Cardinals, Rays and Rockies on a team that will play its home games at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The youngsters will begin play Oct. 8 in the prospect-rich League, which has graduated more than 60 percent of past participants to the Majors and includes representatives from all 30 clubs.
Five of the players the D-backs will send are ranked by MLB.com among the top 20 prospects in the club's farm system, with Barrett at No. 7, Chafin at No. 8, Lamb at No. 11, Ahmed at No. 13 and Stites at No. 17. Arizona will announce a seventh prospect to join the others at a later date.
Barrett is a flame-throwing right-handed reliever who has burst onto the scene after the D-backs selected him in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State. In just his first full professional season, Barrett is already the closer for Double-A Mobile, boasting a 0.42 ERA over 21 2/3 innings with 13 saves. He could contend for a spot in the D-backs' bullpen as soon as next year.
Chafin, a first-rounder in 2011, has started 20 games for Mobile, posting a 10-7 record and a 3.04 ERA. Recently acquired from San Diego in the Ian Kennedy trade, Stites will pitch for the first time in his new organization after a season-ending appendectomy earlier this year.
Highlighting the position players the D-backs are sending is Ahmed, who was part of the blockbuster Justin Upton deal with Atlanta in the offseason. The shortstop has hit .229 in 130 games with Mobile in 2013. Lamb, a third baseman, has hit .320 in 57 games with Class A Advanced Visalia.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less