Jackson, Tenn. - Rosters for the Arizona Fall League were announced Wednesday, and six members of the 2016 Jackson Generals were chosen to play for the Peoria Javelinas in the prestigious league that features top prospects from around baseball. Outfielders Tyler O'Neill and Guillermo Heredia, catcher Tyler Marlette, and pitchers Dan Altavilla, Emilio Pagan and Dylan Unsworth were among the six Mariners selected.
This is the 25th season of the Arizona Fall League, which is comprised of six teams that play at Spring Training sites around Phoenix. Each team has prospects from five Major League teams, and the Mariners farmhands will join players from the Orioles, Padres, Reds and Rays on the Peoria Javelinas when the season begins in October.
O'Neill will continue an already stellar 2016 when he plays in the Fall League. The 21-year-old slugger from British Columbia has had a historic season for the Generals, becoming the team's second-ever Southern League MVP and setting a franchise record for RBIs in a season. With four games left in the season, O'Neill is hitting .295 with 24 home runs and 101 runs batted in to go along with an .889 OPS.
This has been a season of accolades for O'Neill. In addition to being named the league's Southern Most Valuable Player, he was a Mid-Season All-Star, a Postseason All-Star and Player of the Month in May. He played in the Futures Game in San Diego and was ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball by Baseball America over the summer as well.
Altavilla is one of three members of Jackson's Opening Day roster currently playing for the Mariners. The right-handed pitcher was promoted directly to the Mariners just prior to the teams final series of August. In his first full season as a reliever, Altavilla went 7-3 with a 1.91 ERA and 16 saves in 43 games. He was one of eight Generals named a Mid-Season All-Star in the Southern League.
In three big league outings through Thursday, Altavilla has thrown three scoreless frames with two strikeouts and no walks. Altavilla was the second General to go straight from Jackson to the Mariners this season, following Seattle's current closer Edwin Diaz.
Heredia was a crucial part of the Jackson team that ran away with a First Half North Division title. A Mid-Season All-Star, Heredia hit .293 with 11 extra-base hits and 34 runs batted in over 58 games with the Generals. He had more walks than strikeouts as well. He was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma at the All-Star Break before making his Major League debut in late July.
The Cuban outfielder has played in 21 games for Seattle so far, hitting 204 with a home run and four runs bated in. This is his first season in the states after playing in Cuba's Serie Nacional for his native Mantanzas.
Pagan was dominant for the Generals to start the season. As one of the team's initial closers, the right-hander was a perfect 9-for-9 on save opportunities while posting a 1.17 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 18 outings. In 30.2 innings, he struck out 45 and walked only 11 while holding opponents to a .170 average. He was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma just prior to the All-Star Break.
Unsworth was a Mid-Season All-Star in the Southern League as well before an injury sidelined him. The right-hander from South Africa went 3-1 with a sparkling 1.16 ERA over nine starts with the Generals before being placed on the disabled list. Along with O'Neill, Unsworth was selected to represent Team World at the Futures Game in July.
Marlette recently rejoined the Generals after an impressive start to the season with High-A Bakersfield. In 83 games with the Blaze, he hit .273 with 14 home runs, 21 doubles and 53 runs batted in. After the All-Star Break, the catching prospect hit .314 for the Blaze before returning to a Jackson squad he played for in 2014 and 2015 as well.
The six Generals will be joined by fellow Mariners prospects Drew Jackson and Luis Gohara. Jackson is an infielder currently with Class A Advanced Bakersfield, while Gohara is in the rotation for Class A Clinton in the Midwest League. The eight Seattle prospects will begin play when the Arizona Fall League season opens October 11. The slate of games goes through the championship November 19. This is the 25th year of the Arizona Fall League, which began in 1992.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.