The San Diego Padres farm system isn’t as strong as it used to be, especially after the Juan Soto trade, but that doesn’t mean there’s no talent left. Jackson Merrill was one of six Padres prospects selected to participate in the Arizona Fall League.
Merrill, 19, is hitting .325 with a .869 OPS for Lake Elsinore this season. He took over the top spot in MLB.com’s top Padres prospect list after A.J. Preller traded James Wood, Robert Hassell and Jarlin Susana to Washington in order to get Soto and Josh Bell in early August.
The other Padres on the Peoria Javelinas roster are Efrain Contreras, Jordan Guerrero, Alek Jacob, Chris Lincoln, Nerwilian Cedeno and Joshua Mears, who was promoted to Double-A San Antonio earlier in the year. You can view the entire AFL roster here.
The pitch timer, larger bases and shift rules will all be used during these games. Additionally, the Automatic Ball-Strike Challenge system will also be experimented with. This system allows for pitchers to challenge a ball or strike call if they believe the umpire didn’t get the call correctly. Teams are allowed three challenges and awarded a challenge back if they got it correct.
The AFL will start on Monday, October 3 and concludes with the Championship Game on November 12, which will air live on MLB Network.