Before this season, it seemed the top -- and not the middle -- of the order was where Taylor Lindsey was headed. But a breakout 2013 season may have given the No. 3 Angels prospect a chance to hit for more RBI chances down the road.
That was the case in the Arizona Fall League on Monday. Mesa's second baseman hit fifth and capitalized with a three-run homer in a 7-6 win over Scottsdale.
Lindsey hit his home run off Scorpions starter Vidal Nuno during a four-run third inning. Washington's top prospect Brian Goodwin led off the frame with a double to center field and then came around to score when Detroit's Devon Travis reached on a throwing error by shortstop Alen Hanson. The Cubs' No. 4 prospect Kris Bryant got aboard on third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez's fielding miscue.
Then Lindsey connected on an 0-1 offering from Nuno and sent the ball over the fence in right. The homer was the left-handed hitter's first in the Arizona Fall League and gave him hits in each of his first three AFL games.
"Guys were on base for me," he said. "I was trying to get a pitch up. He threw me a pitch inside. I hit it on the barrel and it happened to go out. It was awesome to do that for the team and to help us win."
The Angels' 2010 first-round pick (37th overall) is hitting .357 with six RBIs in the AFL after batting .274 with a career-high 17 home runs for Double-A Arkansas this summer. The roundtrippers nearly doubled his previous career best of nine, and the 21-year-old added 22 doubles and had a .780 OPS.
The infielder took Pioneer League MVP honors in 2011, before collecting a .289 average with nine homers for Class A Advanced Inland Empire in 2012.
Lindsey told MLB.com after the game he's enjoying the chance to play in the AFL, where he's teamed up with other top prospects such as Addison Russell, Jorge Soler, Goodwin and Bryant. The Angels don't have him working on anything in particular, he said, but rather to improve his all-around game and get some more experience.
"My goals are to come out and play hard every day and show what I can do," he said. "Have fun and prove myself."
Goodwin and Detroit prospect Tyler Collins both had two-hit games, while Bryant and Travis each recorded stolen bases for the Solar Sox.
Braves prospects Tommy La Stella and Robby Hefflinger led the way for Scottsdale. La Stella had two RBIs and a run while Hefflinger was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Yankees' No. 3 prospect Tyler Austin and Giants' No. 15 prospect Andrew Susac added two hits apiece, including a triple for Austin.