Heavy hitters highlight first day of AFL

D-backs’ Lawlar shines during stellar Arizona Fall League debut

Surprise 11, Salt River 6
Jordan Lawlar rode a hot bat as he ascended three levels of the D-backs’ system this season, and the No. 12 overall prospect showed no signs of cooling off in his debut in the desert. Arizona’s third-ranked prospect collected a pair of hits — including a three-run homer — walked twice and scored three times for the Rafters in the loss. No. 16 Tigers prospect Parker Meadows also went yard with a 415-foot jack at 105 mph for Salt River. But it was the Saguaros offense that could not be silenced with 11 runs on 13 hits. Surprise’s designated hitter Trevor Hauver (Rangers) launched a 431-foot moonshot with an exit velocity of 106 mph as part of a four-RBI afternoon, while No. 11 Texas prospect Aaron Zavala clubbed a 415-foot jack, also at 106 mph. Fifth-ranked Phillies prospect Johan Rojas led all hitters with three knocks, a walk and an RBI for Surprise.

Peoria 5, Glendale 3
Robert Perez provided the difference in the game by capping a five-run ninth inning with a three-run homer to left that completed the Javelinas’ comeback. After the Desert Dogs took a 3-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI single from 2021 White Sox Draft pick Terrell Tatum, an error and a run-scoring groundout, Peoria’s offense was blanked over eight innings. But in the final frame, the Javelinas rallied after a pair of walks and a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position. Top Nationals prospect Robert Hassell III drove in the club’s first run with a sacrifice fly to left. Seattle’s 14th-ranked prospect Alberto Rodriguez knocked an RBI single to right and two batters later it was Perez Jr.’s go-ahead long ball that sealed the victory. Mariners’ No. 15 prospect Bryan Woo got the start for Peoria and twirled four hitless frames with one walk and five strikeouts.

Scottsdale 7, Mesa 4
Heston Kjerstad finished the regular season with seven hits over his final four games — including a home run and a double. The ninth-ranked Orioles prospect brought that mojo with him to the desert with a game-high three knocks while falling a triple shy of a cycle and driving in two runs in his AFL debut for the Scorpions. Kjerstad singled to center in the third and scampered home on a triple from third-ranked Giants prospect Luis Matos, mashed a go-head solo homer to right in the seventh and capped Scottsdale’s scoring with an RBI double to left in the eighth. No. 4 Red Sox prospect Nick Yorkedrove in a pair of runs for the Scorpions with an RBI groundout and a bases loaded walk, and 13th-ranked Braves prospect Cal Conley opened the scoring for Scottsdale with an RBI double in the third. Miami’s fifth-ranked prospect Jose Salas drove in Mesa’s first two runs with a pair of RBI groundouts, No. 14 A’s prospect Lawrence Butlerdoubled and drove in a run and Yankees’ second-ranked prospect Jasson Domínguez walked and scored for the Solar Sox in the loss.