The Colorado Rockies announced on Tuesday three of the seven players they will send to the 2011 Arizona Fall League. They are third baseman Nolan Arenado, outfielder Tim Wheeler and first baseman Ben Paulsen.
They will play for the new Salt River Rafters, a team that will play at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks share the facilities there and will share this team with the Astros, the Dodgers and the Tigers.
Arenado has emerged during the 2011 season as a future star for the Rockies at the hot corner. He's hitting .297/.350/.475 with 30 doubles, 17 home runs and 113 RBI for the Hi-A Modesto Nuts. He played in the 2011 Futures Game and hit an RBI double in the game for Team USA.
Wheeler found the helium this season and rose in high regard as a prospect. After hitting 12 home runs for the Nuts in 2010, Wheeler has smacked 33 this season for Double-A Tulsa. He's hitting .292/.370/.551 for the season and has 20 stolen bases as well. His defense could still use some work, but his bat will be his way to the majors.
Paulsen is also with Tulsa this season. While the .244 batting average won't set worlds on fire, he does have 18 home runs and a solid glove at first base. Is he a possible replacement for Todd Helton at first base in a couple of years?