OTTAWA – Four Canadians have been named to Arizona Fall League rosters.
Right-handed pitchers Trevor Brigden (North York, ON), Indigo Diaz (Vancouver, BC) and RJ Freure (Burlington, ON) will be playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Peoria Javelinas and Glendale Desert Dogs respectively while 2004 Canadian Olympian and former big leaguer Chris Mears will act as the Scorpions’ pitching coach.
The Arizona Fall League is commonly referred to as a “finishing school” for prospects from all 30 Major League Baseball clubs with players from each organization filling out the rosters of the six AFL teams.
Seventeen of MLBPipline’s Top 100 prospects in baseball were among those named to rosters.
The league will open play on October 13th with the annual Fall Stars Game schedule for November 13th and the AFL Championship Game following on November 20th.
Brigden, a Tampa Bay Rays’ prospect, represented Canada earlier this year at the WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier in Florida where he appeared in one tournament game. The 26-year-old split his time between three minor league organizations in 2021 compiling a 7-2 record and 4.59 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched. He was selected by the Rays in the 17th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of Okanagan (BC) College.
Diaz, an Atlanta Braves' prospect, had a breakout season in 2021 landing on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Year as a relief pitcher. The soon-to-be 23-year-old went 6-2 over two levels with a miniscule 1.20 ERA and an insane 83 strikeouts over 45 innings pitched. Diaz was a 27th round pick of the bRaves back in 2019 out of Michigan State University.
Freure, a Houston Astros’ prospect, wore the red and white as an amateur at the 2015 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Japan and later at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru where he started on the mound for Canada in the gold medal contest against Puerto Rico. The 24-year-old appeared in two different levels in 2021 where he went a combined 4-6 with a 5.98 ERA and 104 strikeouts across 81.1 innings pitched.
Mears, who hails from Vancouver, holds the title of Pitching Coordinator – Performance with the Boston Red Sox, an organization he has been with since 2007. Mears was part of the 1995 Youth National Team with Baseball Canada before he embarked on a career in professional baseball that was highlighted by a stint with the Detroit Tigers in 2003 and the Athens Olympics in 2004.
For more on the Arizona Fall League, visit mlb.com/arizona-fall-league