The Arizona Fall League season may be in its final days, but Kenny Wilson is in no rush to see it end.
"I'm having a great time out here, they do a really good job taking care of us," the Blue Jays outfield prospect said. "I've never had so much fun playing baseball."
Wilson had another enjoyable afternoon on Tuesday, homering in his second straight game and tripling as Salt River built an early lead and coasted to a 7-2 win over Glendale.
Wilson tripled leading off the first inning and scored on a ground-rule double by fellow Toronto farmhand Andy Burns. In the fourth, he drilled his second Fall League homer, a two-run shot off Reds right-hander Jamie Walczak to extend the Rafters' lead to 7-1. Wilson, who also went yard on Monday at Glendale, was 2-for-5 for his third straight multi-hit game.
"I'm just getting good pitches to hit, really," he said. "I'm staying with my approach. I was looking for pitches to drive and I got those pitches today."
Wilson, a 2008 second-round Draft pick, is coming off a season in which he hit .270 with three homers, 13 RBIs, 17 steals and a .349 on-base percentage in 60 games across three levels. He hoped to pick up the pace with Salt River, but after a hot start, he got back to the grind. Overall, he's satisfied with his opportunity to develop and learn in a new environment.
"I feel like I've played good. I got off to a really hot start in the first week," Wilson said. "A couple games after that, I started to feel it a bit. For the most part, I think I've done pretty well. I know I'd like to cut down on strikeouts. I've worked at that and had a lot of fun out here."
Wilson had a chance to watch Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison (2-1) earn his second fall win. The 23-year-old right-hander held the Desert Dogs to a run on four hits and three walks over four innings, fanning four while throwing 51 of 81 pitches for strikes.
"He looked really good," Wilson said. "Tthe last start he had was a bit rough, but he knows what he's got to do, which is keep the ball down and throw that breaking pitch for a strike. He located down in the zone today, and that's what he's got to do."
Hutchison, the AFL's Pitcher of the Week earlier this month, was limited to 10 appearances this season as he returned from Tommy John surgery. He went 0-4 with a 4.84 ERA and 42 strikeouts over 35 1/3 innings, a year after reaching the Major Leagues.
For Wilson, the chance to play with some of his fellow Blue Jays prospects is one he's savored as he works his way up the system.
"I'm around some familiar faces, Burns, I've played with him," he said. "This is my first time with Derrick Chung, he's a grinder. There's not anything spectacular about what he does, he just does what he's supposed to do. He's fun to watch and Burns is fun to watch. Everyone knows about what Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman can do. Those guys are unbelievable to watch. And Drew is pretty unbelievable, too."
Salt River (17-12) scored three times in the first when Rockies No. 9 prospect Kyle Parker doubled home Cardinals No. 7 prospect Stephen Piscotty and Burns scored on a fielder's choice following his RBI double.
In the third, Piscotty came home on base hit by D-backs No. 13 prospect Nick Ahmed. Burns scored the Rafters' seventh run in the fourth when Parker grounded into a double play.
Glendale had opened the scoring in the top of the first when Travis Mattair doubled home fellow Reds prospect Yorman Rodriguez. White Sox right fielder Brandon Jacobs doubled and came home on a wild pitch in the ninth.
Michael Lorenzen (0-3) allowed four runs on six hits and a pair of walks over three innings for Glendale. The Reds righty struck out one but has surrendered at least three runs in five of his six AFL starts.