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Haniger's homer sets tone for Saguaros
Brewers prospect has amassed 12 RBIs over nine AFL games
10/20/2013 1:36 AM ET
Mitch Haniger has a .667 slugging percentage in the Arizona Fall League.
Mitch Haniger has a .667 slugging percentage in the Arizona Fall League. (Jason Wise/MLB.com)

The way Mitch Haniger is seeing the ball in the Arizona Fall League, he might as well be watching a desert tortoise.

"Any time you are in this zone, you see the ball better," the 12th-ranked Brewers prospect said. "I know for me, everything seems slower."

Haniger belted a three-run homer in the first inning and went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and two runs scored in Surprise's 7-0 win at Glendale Saturday.

He's posted a .475 on-base percentage through nine AFL games, and he has 12 RBIs and eight runs scored.

"I'm feeling really good about how I'm swinging the bat right now," Haniger said.

After Tyler Naquin (Indians) and Jason Rogers (Brewers) walked to start the game, Haniger stepped in against Desert Dogs starter and No. 7 Twins prospect Trevor May. With a full count, Haniger slapped May's seventh offering of the at-bat over the fence in left-center field.

"I was really able to see all of the pitches he had in that at-bat and really work the count," said the 22-year-old outfield prospect.

Haniger walked in the third and scored on a wild pitch. He worked another base-on-balls the next inning. He's walked in four of his most recent plate appearances, and he's also put together three multiple-hit games in the AFL thus far.

"I have really just been trying to keep it simple. I've been getting reps in and staying focused, but not thinking too much when I am up at the plate," said the 2012 first-rounder, who hit .264 between Class A Wisconsin and Class A Advanced Brevard County this year.

"Staying short with my swing is something that I've really tried to focus on and I think it has really helped," he added.

Sixth-ranked Orioles prospect Tim Berry scattered three hits and struck out three over four innings to earn the win -- his first AFL decision -- and lower his ERA to 2.57. Four Saguaros relievers combined to no-hit Glendale through the rest of the game.

"Our pitching staff tonight was great," Haniger said. "They all had amazing command and were able to keep the hitters off balance. That is the best game I have seen them pitch so far this season."

No. 15 White Sox prospect Micah Johnson had one of the Desert Dogs three hits. The single raised Johnson's AFL average to .320.

Josh Jackson 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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