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Arizona Fall League 10/16/2018 Salt River Defeats Mesa 2-1

Pavin Smith comes up with the game winning hit in the 9th

Miami Marlins v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

There is a saying “You know you’ve been in Arizona too long when 70 degrees feels cold”. Last night at 6:35 P.M. game start time the temperature was 67 degrees with a very stiff wind blowing in from Right Center Field. With the flag whipping around and pointing straight at me, for some reason I thought it would feel more like “real baseball” if I opened the window in front of me in the press box. That didn’t last long. I shut it about 10 minutes later. It felt like it was about to start snowing !

That strong wind would have an impact on the game as well, as fly balls were knocked down, none even reaching the warning track, and several popups became adventures.

The Rafters had 9 hits, all singles. They scored a run in the first on a Sam Hilliard RBI knock into center scoring Bryson Brigman. Then in the 9th, Hilliard would score on a Pavin Smith single through the hole into left for the go ahead and winning run.

The Solar Sox scored their lone run in 6th when the appropriately name Sky Bolt tripled into the right field corner and was driven in by a Bobby Dalbec base hit.

Enough about the game flow. Box Score Here.

Some player comments and observations:

Pavin Smith:

He hit 4 groundballs on the night. The first 3 were all rolled over to the right side, grounding out to 2b once, and to 1b twice, both unassisted. The second ground out came on an 0-1 count with 2 outs and the bases loaded. In the 6th he put up more of a fight, showing a good two strike approach, fouling off pitch after pitch and working a 10 pitch at bat before grounding out to 1st again. Finally in the 9th, he went with a fastball low and on the outer half and hit a sharp grounder through the hole into left field which drove in the winning run of the game. So a nice ending to an otherwise unimpressive night.

Drew Ellis: It was a cold and lonely night for Drew. He was the DH in this game, and perhaps sitting on the bench while waiting to hit does not suit him. He struck out 3 times, twice looking. The one time he managed contact was a soft liner to 2b with runners on first and 2nd. Tres Barera took off on contact and never looked back and never stopped running until he was all the way back to the dugout as he was easily doubled off.

These were the only two Diamondbacks to see action in this game. You can look at the Salt River Team Stats to follow how our prospects are doing so far. It’s early and nobody has a lot of at bats or innings pitched.

Other players of note from this game:

Bobby Dalbec: The Red Sox third base prospect, who is often compared Troy Glaus, hit the hardest ball of the night, a line drive rip that carried all the way into the left field corner for a double. He’s a big guy with a lot of power, (32 homers between A+ & AA this year) On defense he started a 5-4-3 Double Play in the first. But the throw was actually high and the secondbaseman had to leap to catch it. Clearly off the bag, the ump called the force anyway and the DP was completed. Then Dalbec had a throwing error in the 9th, which lead to the winning run. So defense might be an issue. However with his size and power, if he can’t stick at third, he can always be moved to first base. Something to keep in mind if we get involved with Boston on a Paul Goldschmidt trade.

Sam Hilliard of the Rockies had two line drive base hits, both pretty sharp.

A’s outfield prospect Skye Bolt is really fast. He sliced a line drive into the right field corner and when I looked up after seeing where the ball landed he was already half way to 2b. He has really long fluid strides but his legs move FAST. Usually guys with long strikes don’t look like they are running as fast as they are. This guy had both the long strides and the look of someone really motoring.

A couple of good catching arms on display in this one.

Jhonny Pereda of the Cubs nailed Travis Blankenhorn of the twins by at least 2-3 feet on an absolute laser of a throw. Not to be outdone, Rafters catcher Tres Barrera nailed Daz Cameron in the first inning too.

On the pitching side the starters Luis Rivas and Gregory Soto both looked pretty good. Rivas’ stuff seemed to dart a bit more, making him hard to square up. Soto is a big bodied guy, reminded me a little of Papa Grande. Throws hard, but was a little easier to make solid contact off of.