As the season winds down, the eyes of the baseball world turn to the postseason and the offseason. For the Astros, the team is looking to finish with less than 100 losses, get into the minor league playoffs, and play in the Arizona Fall League. Speaking of the AFL, the Astros have announced who will be heading to the desert this season - as reported by MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
The group is headlined by top-ten prospects Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez, and Rio Ruiz. Joining those three are Mitch Lambson, Tyson Perez, Tyler Heineman, Joe Sclafani and Andrew Aplin.
Mark Appel, the top overall pick in the 2013 draft, has a record of 1-2 with a 3.15 ERA in six starts for Double-A Corpus Christi. Appel's season was derailed with appendicitis during Spring Training and the transition to a shorter pitching schedule - Houston hopes to make up that time in the Fall League. The same can be said of Vincent Velasquez, who missed much of this season with a groin injury - Velasquez has a 7-2 record with a 2.29 ERA in 13 appearances with High-A Lancaster.
Joe Sclafani will be part of the "taxi squad", only active on Wednesday and Sundays. Joining the Astros players, as reported by the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich, is Greeneville Astros' pitching coach - Josh Miller. He will serve in the same capacity. The Astros prospects will play for the Salt River Rafters. The team is comprised of prospects from the Diamondbacks, Marlins, Rockies and Twins, and will play home games at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona.