ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
The crowd was a little sparse as Bryce Harper was on the bench. The weather was a little cloudy with virtually no wind. But it was a beautiful day for Tony Sanchez the Pirates first round pick–the fourth overall selection in the 2009 draft. His teammate, Jordy Mercer had just lead off the third inning with a sharp line drive single.
Sanchez stepped into the box for his first plate appearance of the day. It didn’t take long for Sanchez to prove he is fully back from a broken jaw. Sanchez ripped a homerun. It was his first homer of the AFL season as a Mesa Solar Sox.
Sanchez has six hits in 19 at-bats, has walked once and struckout four times. His OPS is .824.
The good news for Pirates fans just kept coming too, just a few hours after Pirates RHP Brian Leach struggled against Scottsdale last night. Another Pirates pitching prospect performed very well in a high leverage situation.
Aaron Pribanic had another scoreless inning– his fifth of the AFL season. Pribanic also added two more strikeouts.
Pribanic continues to impress. He looks like the real deal as we wrote about a few days ago. Pribanic got his first hold by throwing only 15 pitches, eight going for strikes. He came on in the eighth inning to face the top of the dangerous Scottsdale order.
After a leadoff walk, Pribanic got the Rockies talented on base machine/SS Thomas Field to strike out and 1B Brandon Belt was caught looking. The right hander slammed the door when he was able to enduce clean-up hitter Derek Norris into a ground out.
Andrew Lambo’s hitting streak ended at five games. Lambo did grab another outfield assist as he threw out Culberson (how hot is this guy right now?) in the third inning who was attempting to score from third on Greg Miclat’s fly out.
Jordy Mercer added a walk, his first in 24at-bats in the fourth inning. Mercer started quickly as he had six hits in his first 14 at-bats in the AFL. But Mercer didn’t record another hit until his leadoff single last night broke an 0-for-7 skid and set the stage for Sanchez. Mercer raised his average to .292, but his OPS is still just .683.
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