Pitcher Brandon Leibrandt will join five former Clearwater Threshers in baseball's star-studded offseason league, representing the Philadelphia Phillies in this year's Arizona Fall League.
Leibrandt will head west along with Reading Fightin Phils infielders Scott Kingery and Mitch Walding, outfielder Aaron Brown, and pitchers Victor Arano and Miguel Nunez - all of whom played for Clearwater in 2016.
The squad of Phillies prospects will join minor leaguers from the Mets, Angels, Yankees, and Giants in composing the Scottsdale Scorpions, who will be managed by Tom Goodwin.
Leibrandt missed most of this season recovering from shoulder surgery, but has been dominant since his return to Clearwater. The 23-year-old left-hander has not permitted a run across his last 17 innings, and has a 1.64 ERA in five starts this year for the Threshers.
An eighth round pick out of Florida State University in 2014, Leibrandt posted a 3.11 ERA in 17 starts for the Threshers last year, holding opponents to a .227 average in his 101.1 innings before he was placed on the disabled list on August 6.
Kingery - ranked the No. 14 prospect in the Phillies system by MLB.com - will head to the AFL after an impressive first full-season in pro ball.
The 22-year-old second baseman was a Florida State League mid-season and end-of-season All-Star with the Threshers, hitting .262 in the first half before catching fire in June and July. Kingery hit a scorching .361 in 30 games in the second half, before receiving promotion to Double-A Reading on July 25.
Kingery led the league with 29 doubles at the time of his call-up, and swiped 26 bases in 31 attempts with Clearwater. In his first 33 games in Reading, he carries a solid .265 average with six doubles, two homers, and 17 RBIs. Kingery was the Phillies second-round draft pick out of the University of Arizona in 2015.
Walding is wrapping up a breakout season, in which he was twice honored as FSL Player of the Week, represented Clearwater in the FSL All-Star game, named an FSL end-of-season All-Star, and won the league's Home Run Derby. The 23-year-old belted a career-high ten home runs and drove in 53 while batting .280 for the Threshers. The former fifth-round selection earned the promotion to Reading on August 4, and has homered three times in 21 games with the Fightin Phils.
Brown recently spent 20 games in Clearwater after recovering from a wrist injury, and will head to the AFL in place on injured outfielder Andrew Pullin. Brown - a third round pick out of Pepperdine in 2014 - hit .304 in his stint with the Threshers, and is batting .246 overall between the GCL, Clearwater, and Reading this year.
The 21-year-old Arano has emerged as a power arm out of the bullpen this season, after spending 2015 in the Threshers rotation. He held opponents to just a .229 average while carrying a 2.29 ERA out of the Clearwater pen, and has permitted only three earned runs in his first month in Double-A.
Nunez is also a converted starter who has taken well to the back-end relief role. A 23-year-old right-hander, Nunez has converted 17 of 19 save opportunities for Reading after going 3-for-3 in that role for Clearwater this year. He has posted ERA's in the threes with both levels since moving to the bullpen in 2015.
Arizona Fall League games will begin on October 11th, and the Championship Game will take place on November 19th.