The Arizona Fall League kicked off yesterday and the Salt River Rafters, which is the team the Toronto Blue Jays are helping to field, were in action at home against the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Rafters managed only four hits but were still in a position to win late. Arizona Diamondbacks’ prospect Matt Stites allowed three runs in the top of the ninth to allow the Scorpions to come from behind to squeak out a 6-5 victory. Two prospects from the Toronto Blue Jays organization played in last night’s affair and both were extremely impressive.Kenny Wilson, 23, was the Rafters’ lead off hitter and had a very strong game going 3 for 4. Wilson manned center field for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats this year. He started the game with a sharp grounder to right field that deflected off Scorpions’ first baseman Tyler Austin. He then stole second base to give the Rafters a glorious opportunity with a runner in scoring position and nobody out but Ryan Brett, Jake Lamb and Kyle Parker all failed to cash him in.
Wilson hit another sharp single in the third inning, this time up the middle of the diamond. He moved up to second after a Brett walk but was thrown out trying to steal third. Wilson had another single courtesy of a line drive up the middle in the fifth. The Scorpions were finally able to get him out on a ground ball to second base in the seventh. It was a very impressive performance from Wilson who is a player that I’ll admit that I underestimated in my AFL Preview.
Marcus Stroman saw action out of the bullpen and pitched a perfect eighth inning for the Rafters. His outs included a swinging strikeout, weak ground ball and fly out to center field. Stroman needed only 12 pitches to get through the inning and was one of four players to be credited with a hold for the Rafters.
Salt River and Scottsdale will face off in a rematch today at 6:35 MST. Stats are courtesy of MLB.com.