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Ogden's Scavuzzo blasts two homers
Dodgers prospect grabs sole possession of league homer lead
07/16/2013 2:37 AM ET
Jacob Scavuzzo (center) is fourth in the Pioneer League in OPS at 1.013.
Jacob Scavuzzo (center) is fourth in the Pioneer League in OPS at 1.013. (Ogden Raptors)

Jacob Scavuzzo was an Angels fan as a kid growing up in the Los Angeles area. If he keeps hitting like he did Sunday night, the folks at Chavez Ravine will have no problem pardoning him.

Scavuzzo went 4-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs in the Rookie-level Raptors' 9-7 loss to the Brewers at Kindrick Legion Field.

"It's kind of bittersweet," he said. "We kept battling, but in the end, we came up a little short."

Scavuzzo homered, doubled and singled in his first three at-bats. Needing a triple for the cycle, the center fielder instead launched his second home run of the game over the left-field fence to raise his average to .325.

"[Hitting for the cycle] was in the back of my head, but I tried not to think about it," he said. "I just wanted to hit the ball hard and put my team back into the game."

The Dodgers outfield prospect has had several big games and mini-slumps in his short pro career. He had one hit in 10 at-bats before blasting a pair of homers July 7 against Orem, the third straight game he went deep, and then went 1-for-8 over his next two contests. He then collected three hits and netted four RBIs on July 11 against Missoula and followed that outburst by going 1-for-9 in his next two games.

"I'm just working on getting my timing and being more consistent," Scavuzzo said. "Sometimes I go through little slumps when my timing's off."

The 6-foot-4 right-handed hitter leads the Pioneer League in homers with seven, is fourth in RBIs with 20 and fourth in OPS at 1.013. Despite his big numbers, Scavuzzo hit seventh in a stacked Raptors lineup against the Brewers.

"I don't mind where I am in the lineup," he said. "I just want to help my team out and drive in some runs. Sometimes I enjoy it, because hitting lower in the lineup, you get better pitches."

While average and power have been strengths for the 19-year-old, plate discipline is an area he intends to work on. Scavuzzo doesn't have any walks and 16 strikeouts in 80 at-bats this season, and he had five walks and fanned 27 times in 2012 in 82 at-bats in his pro debut for the Arizona Dodgers.

"I usually walk not a lot, but average," he said. "It is a little surprising I don't have any walks. I've been a little more aggressive this year. I've had chances, but I've just been swinging at bad pitches."

The Orange, Calif., native recently converted to Dodger blue.

"I grew up 10 minutes from Anaheim Stadium," Scavuzzo said. "I was the biggest Angels fan. I've never hated the Dodgers or anything, but they were our crosstown rival. Now I'm the biggest Dodgers fan."

After starter Zachary Bird, the Dodgers' No. 9 prospect, yielded five runs on six hits in three innings, Jordan Hershiser (1-1) -- the son of 1988 National League Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser -- gave up four runs and four hits in an inning of work for the loss.

Second baseman Jesmuel Valentin, Los Angeles' No. 13 prospect, singled twice and scored a run. Shortstop Brandon Trinkwon singled, doubled and added an RBI while center fielder Hank Yates drove in a pair of runs. 

Brandon Simes is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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