The Desert Dogs are on the move.
The Arizona Fall League announced Saturday that its Desert Dogs franchise will relocate to Camelback Ranch-Glendale, the home of the White Sox and Dodgers during Spring Training, starting in 2013.
For two decades, the six-team Fall League has been considered a finishing program for some of the best prospects in baseball and a place where they can show off their skills in front of Major League Baseball scouts and executives. Featured in the 2012 season were Billy Hamilton (MLB.com's No. 11 prospect), Christian Yelich (13), Mike Zunino (23) and Jonathan Singleton (27).
The Desert Dogs, who will move from Phoenix to Glendale, will remain in the Fall League's West Division with Surprise and Peoria. Salt River, Scottsdale and Mesa compete in the East Division.
The relocation was welcomed by league and local officials.
"We are excited to add beautiful Camelback Ranch-Glendale to our mix of Arizona Fall League venues," said Arizona Fall League director Steve Cobb. "The location adds a third team to the West Valley to bring geographic balance. As spring training tenants, Dodger and White Sox prospects assigned to our league will play for the Glendale Desert Dogs beginning this fall."
"Bringing an Arizona Fall League team to Glendale presents a great opportunity for us," said mayor Jerry Weiers. "The 18 home games will help attract new visitors to our city and to the nearby amenities we have to offer such as Tanger Outlets, Cabela's and the Westgate Entertainment District."
The Dodgers and White Sox also chimed in with their own excitement about their prospects playing in their Glendale locations.
"We're excited to host some of the game's best prospects at Camelback Ranch-Glendale," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. "This will give our players the opportunity to continue to train at their home facility which is one of the finest in baseball."
"Like most Major League organizations, the Chicago White Sox have long used the Arizona Fall League as a finishing school for our top prospects," said White Sox senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn. "Having Camelback Ranch-Glendale, one of the very best facilities in the Valley, serve as our AFL home will be a great benefit for our players and staff. Nothing beats the Arizona Fall League for general managers, scouts and even fans when it comes to seeing the very best prospects in baseball all at the same time and all in the same place."