For Stephen Piscotty, this fall has been a case of watching and learning from his parent club. In his case, that's the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals.
"Our schedule worked out really well where we were able to watch most of the [postseason] games," he said. "That's key, to watch the experience those guys are having out there, and you try to learn from that and learn from how they go about their business."
Piscotty, the Cards' No. 7 prospect, came through in a big spot Saturday night, hammering a bases-loaded triple to help Salt River to a 7-2 win over Peoria in the Arizona Fall League.
The win kept the Rafters a half-game behind first-place Mesa in the Eastern Division with a week to play.
"[Winning] is an experience that you need to have. Because if you get called up to the big leagues, it's about winning and it's about coming through and making the playoffs," Piscotty said. "It's all about winning up there. I think it's tough if you go up there just kind of thinking about yourself and not trying to help the team. It's such a big thing and it's such a big experience. I think this is going to carry all of us that are on this team a long way."
Piscotty has had an up and down stint in the AFL, but the sixth-inning triple extended his hitting streak to nine games. He's driven at least one run in six of his last seven contests and is batting .338 overall.
"My timing has been real good. I was able to get that first week under my belt and out of my mind a little bit," the Stanford University product said. "Just went back to keeping it simple, having some rhythm. You need to keep playing to have rhythm, and that's why this is such a great experience."
Piscotty was hit by a pitch in the first -- one of four plays that were reviewed using video replay -- lined out in the third and grounded out in the fifth.
In the sixth, Piscotty came up with the bases loaded and the Rafters holding a 4-2 lead. He drilled a 2-0 offering from Astros right-hander Andrew Robinson to center field for his second Fall League triple.
"We had done a pretty good job of getting runners on in this game. I came up there with the bases loaded, two outs, wasn't trying to do too much, just trying to get a knock," Piscotty said. "I was taking an [opposite-field] approach and looking for a pitch away that I could put a simple swing on. I got that pitch and I got it in the gap."
Rockies No. 9 prospect Kyle Parker also tripled and scored a run for Salt River.
Rays southpaw Grayson Garvin (3-2) notched the win, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out five.
The Rafters have won seven of their last 10 games, and Piscotty credits that success for the strides he's been making.
"It's huge. Not only playing to get better individually but collectively, as a whole, this group wants to win. And anytime you're playing with a group of guys like that, it helps you become a winning player," he said. "And I think all the guys have bought into that and I think that's one of the reasons why this experience is invaluable."
Joe Wieland, who entered 2012 as the Padres' eighth-ranked prospect, made his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery 15 months ago. The right-hander worked the first inning for the Javelinas and gave up a run on two hits with one strikeout.
Delino DeShields Jr., the Astros' No. 7 prospect, tripled and singled for Peoria.