Colorado Rockies prospect Nolan Arenado was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Arizona Fall League on Saturday, a capstone to a breakout season for the young third baseman.
At 20 years of age, Arenado is building quite a resume. He led the minor leagues with 122 RBI, started in the MLB Futures Game this summer, and has absolutely demolished the pitching in Arizona this fall. While playing on the Rising Stars All-Star team, Arenado batted cleanup on a lineup that featured super-prospects Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.
In 29 games, Arenado hit .388 with a 1.059 OPS. He leads the league with 12 doubles, and has a league best 47 hits, five better than Adam Eaton at No. 2. The most impressive number is probably his age. Arenado is one of the youngest players in the league. With this breakout showing, Arenado is a likely candidate for the top of many prospects lists this offseason.
Winning the AFL MVP is no guarantee of future stardom (the last three MVP winners are Dustin Ackley, Grant Desme, and Tommy Hanson), but it is excellent recommendation to be singled out amongst the game's best prospects. If Nolan Arenado continues this level of production next Spring, he may even force the Rockies to give him a starting role in their lineup.