he's chasing dreams hitting seams.
she's chasing dreams talking sports.
Even though there are a few months of the “offseason” in baseball, those months are rarely spent baseball free for most. The options for playing during the off-season involve instructs, fall ball or winter ball.
Instructs — aka Instructional League — is mainly where the guys just drafted go or sometimes guys the organization wants to get more reps. Instructs take place at the organizations’ spring training facility and usually last through the end of the season through November. Players do not get paid during instructs. (I know the Dodgers put their players up in a hotel and feed them.) The schedule is similar to the schedule during spring training. Matt went to instructs after the 2015 season – the year he was drafted.
Winter ball has leagues all over the place including the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Australian. Players play winter ball to get more exposure, make good money or get more reps if they were hurt a lot during the season. Usually the teams in each league reach out to players if the team wants said players to play for them. Players can also let their agent know or person in their organization assigned to winter ball business know they would be interested in playing winter ball, and those said people can reach out to their connections in the winter ball leagues. Winter ball runs from October through January, but most guys do not play an entire season if they played a full minor league season. Early on Matt was talking with a team in the Dominican Republic about playing winter ball before he found out he got an invite to fall league (fall ball).
The Arizona Fall League (AFL) is a league that is put on by Major League Baseball. Fall League is played in Arizona (obviously) from Oct. 10 through Nov. 18. According to MLB.com the definition of Fall League is as follows: “The Arizona Fall League, the “finishing school” for the game’s elite prospects, is a six-team league, owned and operated by Major League Baseball and comprised of players from all 30 clubs.”
Yeah…so it’s a pretty big deal. Matt wasn’t labeled as a “prospect” until near the end of the 2017 season. But he played so well we were hoping he would get a Fall League invite. AFL is complied of the best minor league players — or really prospects (which I think labeling prospects is dumb but that’s a blog for another time.) Players get paid during the AFL.
The way AFL works is sort of hard to explain, but of course, I’ll give it go for you guys.
In the AFL, there are six teams, and each team is compiled of five different organizations on each team. Matt will be playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs. On the Glendale Desert Dogs, players are represented from the Dodgers, Indians, Phillies, Pirates and White Sox. Click here if you’re a baseball fan and want to see the rosters of all the Arizona Fall League teams. Check out the graphic below to see the different AFL teams and which organizations are represented on those teams.
ifEach organization has anywhere from six to eight players on each team. Basically the Fall League team tells each organization how many players they want. Example: “Hey Dodgers, we need you guys to give us eight players including four pitchers, one catcher and three outfielders.” Which is exactly how the Dodgers are represented this AFL season. Which also means Matt is listed as an outfielder… I know LOL right. But hey whatever it takes. We’re out here early so he can get reps in the outfield in.
Anyway, so basically, each organization gets to pick the players they want to go play in the AFL, which is why it’s pretty cool if you get invited.
Which by the way, it isn’t really an invite because who is gunna say “ah no thanks I just wanna go home”, am-I-right?!
Each AFL team will have a few team workouts before the first game. AND EVERY SUNDAY IS AN OFF DAY! WOOHOO!
I’ll be doing stadium tours of the six places Matt will play during the AFL so stay tuned!
If you're a fellow WAG reading and you'll also be at AFL let me know, I'd love you meet you!
Matt & Jesica Beaty
Welcome in to dreams and seams! A tell-all blog about our career dreams and path to reaching those dreams with some commentary about sports and life plus some videos too.
"Strive for the impossible because it makes the possible seem effortless." -Matt Beaty