The Arizona Fall League concludes with the championship game between the Mesa Solar Sox and Surprise Saguaros on Saturday. Teddy Cahill and I will be on hand to cover the game for MLB.com, which also will broadcast the game (as will MLB Network) starting at 3 p.m. ET. The AFL brings more than 200 prospects together for five weeks of games, and represents the only meaningful baseball played in the United States between the end of the World Series and the beginning of Spring Training. Some of baseball's best prospects appear in the AFL each fall, and this year's championship game will feature phenoms such as catcher Jorge Alfaro (Rangers), third basemen Kris Bryant (Cubs) and Garin Cecchini (Red Sox) and shortstop Addison Russell (Athletics). I came to Arizona a couple of days ago so I could catch some regular-season action, and I've shared my observations from Wednesday and Thursday. We also have some AFL-related questions in this week's Pipeline Inbox, so let's get to our reader emails and Tweets: Who has the higher potential between Pirates right-handers Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon? -- Mike V., Pittsburgh Cole and Taillon are two of the best pitching prospects to come out of the Draft in recent years. Taillon was the No. 2 overall pick in 2010, when some scouts thought he might be Texas' best high school pitching prospect ever, and he signed for $6.5 million -- still a record for a prep arm. One year later, the Pirates selected Cole at No. 1 overall and gave him a Draft-record $8 million bonus. Cole made it to Pittsburgh this year, winning 10 times in 19 starts to help the Pirates advance to the postseason for the first time since 1992. Taillon finished the season in Triple-A at age 21, and he should make his big league debut at some point in 2014. Both have frontline-starter stuff, with Cole possessing a little more upside. He throws harder than Taillon, and his slider is more of a wipeout breaking ball than Taillon's curveball. Cole's changeup is better, too. Interestingly, neither Cole nor Taillon has blown away Minor League hitters as much as would be expected considering the arsenals they bring to the mound. Neither averaged a strikeout per inning in the Minors, and Taillon has given up nearly as many hits (352) as he has whiffs (356) in 382 pro frames.
Who will be better, Cole or Taillon?
MLB.com | Nov 18