Eight Cards prospects headed to AFL

Alcantara, Sosa, Hicks highlight talented group of players

Eight Cards prospects headed to AFL

MILWAUKEE -- Sandy Alcantara, Edmundo Sosa and Jordan Hicks, three of the Cardinals' top 15 prospects, highlight the group of Cardinals Minor Leaguers selected to participate in the Arizona Fall League, which is considered a "finishing school" for players on the cusp of the Majors.

The eight players set to represent the Cardinals include: pitchers Alcantara, Hicks, Josh Lucas and Arturo Reyes; catcher Andrew Knizner; infielders John Nogowski and Sosa; and outfielder Oscar Mercado. Nogowski is a member of the taxi squad, meaning he won't be eligible to play every day.

2017 Arizona Fall League rosters
Click on the AFL team name to see complete roster.
AFL club MLB clubs
Glendale CLE, CWS, LA, PHI, PIT
Salt River ARI, BAL, COL, MIA, MIL
Surprise KC, MIN, STL, TB, TEX
Scottsdale CIN, LAA, NYM, NYY, SF

The AFL season begins on Oct. 10 and concludes with the championship game on Nov. 18. The league is made up of six teams, each of which features players from five organizations. This year, the Cardinals' representatives will play alongside prospects from the Rangers, Rays, Royals and Twins on the Surprise Saguaros squad.

Jobel Jimenez, the Cardinals' Double-A hitting coach, will serve as the hitting coach for Surprise.

Each Major League team is required to send at least six players to the AFL, and typically clubs choose players they believe will contribute in the big leagues in the near future. Four of the Cardinals' AFL participants from 2016 -- Paul DeJong, Carson Kelly, Harrison Bader and Ryan Sherriff -- made it to the Majors this season.

Molina scratched from lineup

Initially slated to hit fifth and make his 111th start of the season behind the plate, Yadier Molina was scratched about 90 minutes before first pitch Tuesday due to right lower abdominal soreness. It was not immediately known what led to the issue or how severe it is.

Molina, who leads all catchers with 118 hits and innings caught (944 2/3), was replaced by Kelly, who batted eighth.

Molina's RBI double

Worth noting

• Memphis third baseman Patrick Wisdom was named to the All-Pacific Coast League team after setting career highs in home runs (29) and RBIs (84) this season. Wisdom is Memphis' first player to make the All-PCL team since Brock Peterson in 2013.

• Memphis' Stubby Clapp became the first manager in franchise history to be named PCL Manager of the Year, an honor that was announced on Tuesday. Clapp, who is in his first season as Redbirds skipper, has already guided Memphis to its highest win total ever.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.