Colt Keith, an infielder who was on fire at West Michigan before separating his shoulder in June, will be playing for the Salt River Rafters in Arizona Fall League games that begin Oct. 3 and wrap up Nov. 12, said a source close to AFL-Tigers discussions, who requested anonymity ahead of official announcements.
Joining with Keith will be a pair of Erie stars: outfielder Parker Meadows and infielder Gage Workman. It is possible SeaWolves catcher Dillon Dingler also will play in Arizona, depending upon his tender right (throwing) arm progresses.
If not, and the AFL requests another catcher, Josh Crouch, from West Michigan, could join the Tigers’ position corps at the AFL’s Phoenix-area venues.
Pitchers who will shift to Arizona include Matt Walker, a left-handed reliever/starter and 2019 draft pick (13th round, Illinois State), as well as Jack Anderson, a right-handed bullpen ace at West Michigan, and another right-hander, Tyler Mattison, a fourth-round pick in 2021 (Bryant).
It is yet possible Joey Wentz, who started and won Friday for the Tigers and who missed time the past season will arm ills, will also pitch in Arizona. That decision is not final.
The AFL long has been a kind of dress-rehearsal for top-tier farm players who figure in a big-league club’s future rosters. The competition often is a notch above the level players, particularly those at Single A, might have seen during the previous summer.
Lynn Henning is a freelance writer and retired Detroit News sports reporter.