Naylor, Case enjoying strong AFL debuts

 Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and Andrew Case (Saint John, N.B.) have impressed in their Arizona Fall League debuts. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and Andrew Case (Saint John, N.B.) have impressed in their Arizona Fall League debuts. Photo Credit: Amanda Fewer

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

OTTAWA- The Arizona Fall League is often referred to as a final proving ground for some of baseball’s top prospects before entering the big leagues.

Prospects from big league organizations are scattered among the league’s six teams with league play lasting six weeks that includes a hitting challenge, Fall Stars Game and a championships contest.

Two young Canadians are off to hot starts with the Peoria Javelinas in San Diego Padres prospect Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and Toronto Blue Jays farmhand Andrew Case (Saint John, N.B.).

Naylor, 20, coming off a season split between High-A Lake Elsinore and double-A San Antonio in the Padres’ system belted home runs in his third and fourth AFL games and has hit safely in all but one of his nine games played thus far. The first baseman is tied for second in the league with 10 RBI that included a four-RBI effort on October 23. The former first-round pick (Miami, 2015) was recently featured among some of the top hitters in the loop participating in the Bowman Hitting Challenge over the weekend.

Case, 24, saw time with High-A Dunedin, double-A New Hampshire and triple-A Buffalo in the Blue Jays system in 2017 and put up a respectable 2.86 ERA and 12 saves over 66 innings pitched. The Blue Jays rewarded the undrafted free agent signee (2013) with a trip to the AFL where he’s yet to allow a run over five innings of work. Case got his feet wet in the AFL with a scoreless inning of work on October 10 before returning for a pair of two-inning relief appearances where he ‘s allowed just two hits and struck out two batters. Case has yet to walk a batter.

Toronto native and University of British Columbia product Conor Lillis-White was the third Canadian in the AFL this season and appeared in one game on the mound on October 10. The Los Angeles Angels prospect is no longer listed on the roster of the Scottsdale Scorpions.

The AFL runs its regular season thru November 16 with the championship contest slated for November 18.

For more info on the league, click here.

Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.