Travis Shaw is one of the relatively few Minor Leaguers still playing pro baseball in October, but that hasn't prevented him from watching his parent club's postseason run.
"We've watched every World Series game so far. It's been fun, especially with a couple of teammates who played in Double-A with me this season," Shaw said, referring to Xander Bogaerts and Brandon Workman. "It shows how close you really are to achieving your ultimate goal. Now that they've made it up there, it's becoming more of a reality for me. Hopefully in the next year or two, that'll be me on the TV."
Particularly if Shaw keeps playing the way he did in Wednesday's Arizona Fall League game. The Red Sox first-base prospect was a triple shy of the cycle and hit a grand slam during a 3-for-5 performance in Surprise's 12-6 comeback victory over visiting Salt Lake. The Saguaros have won four straight and and eight of their last 10. At 12-6, they boast the best record in the league.
"It feels good. The clubhouse is a fun place to be right now," Shaw said. "We have a really good group of guys. Everyone is close. Hopefully we'll be able to continue this for the rest of the two weeks we have out here."
Shaw struck out on five pitches in his first at-bat against Rafters starter and St. Louis prospect Sam Gaviglio in the second inning. Gaviglio (1-0) also got the best of Shaw in the fifth.
"It was the tale of two halves today. Their starter kept us off balance," Shaw said of Gaviglio, who gave up two hits and two walks while piling up six strikeouts over five shutout innings.
But against No. 8 Rays prospect Mike Montgomery, Shaw singled and came around to score during a three-run rally in the seventh.
The very next inning, the 23-year-old came to the plate with the bases loaded against Henry Garcia (D-backs). Shaw quickly found himself in a favorable count and knocked a fastball over the right-field wall.
"He fell behind 2-0 and with two outs," Shaw said. "[Garcia] didn't really have any other choice, but to throw fastball in that situation. I was sitting dead red."
He had a two-out double during a four-run eighth, raising his AFL batting average to .408. He has tallied 15 RBIs during 10 games with the Saguaros, who have scored 120 runs -- most in the AFL.
"Our offense has been incredible this year," the Kent State product said. "We feel like we're in every game no matter what the score is. Today is just another example of how we never quit."
Shaw's hot performance this month has him on track to fulfill his AFL goal. After batting .221 in the Double-A Eastern League this year, he wanted to accomplish one thing with Surprise.
"To be more consistent," he said. "I had an up-and-down year in Double-A. It was a little bit of a down year for me, so coming out here was fresh start."
No. 5 Indians prospect Tyler Naquin homered and scored three times, and Rangers prospect Ryan Rua went yard for the second time in two games.
Toronto prospect Andy Burns was 3-for-3 with two doubles and a stolen base for Salt River.