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Rafters' Garvin strong in AFL debut10/10/2013 2:16 AM ET
By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com
Grayson Garvin took a big step Wednesday night on his road to re-establishing himself as a top prospect.
After missing the second half of the 2012 season with an elbow injury that also limited him to 28 1/3 innings this year, the Rays prospect pitched five razor sharp innings as Salt River rolled to a 12-2 Arizona Fall League rout of Scottsdale.
"It felt good to go out there in the first outing and have a strong outing under my belt," said Garvin, the 59th overall pick in the 2011 Draft. "I feel healthy, which is important. I'm working to get all my stuff back. I'm trying to make a small stride each time out. If I continue to do that, I think I'll be pleased with where I'm at."
Garvin yielded one hit and one walk while fanning five. He threw 45 of 65 pitches for strikes en route to his first win at any level since May 19, 2012. Pirates No. 13 prospect Alex Dickerson got to the 23-year-old left-hander with a one-out double in the second, but Garvin set down the next 10 hitters.
"I felt I threw good pitches with all of my stuff," Garvin said. "I have a breaking ball that I'm working on that was on and off, but I felt I threw some quality strikes with all of my pitches."
The Vanderbilt product was throwing to a familiar target in catcher prospect Curt Casali, himself a former Commodore whom the Rays acquired from Detroit in the May trade that allowed the Tigers to keep Rule 5 Draft pick Kyle Lobstein.
"I've thrown to him a few times," Garvin said. "There's always a comfort level there. I've probably thrown more to him more than any other catcher. I always like throwing to him."
By the time Garvin exited after the fifth, the Rafters had a 5-0 lead. Andy Burns put the Rafters on the board with an RBI single in the third inning and singled in another run in the fourth. Fellow Blue Jays prospect Kenny Wilson added a two-run double in the fifth and finished with three RBIs.
"It's always nice to have run support," Garvin said. "My job doesn't change, but it's always nice to get padding under your belt. It's good to know you have those guys working behind you and have a better chance to win."
During the regular season, Garvin made six starts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and five in the Class A Advanced Florida State League. He went 0-2 with a 1.59 ERA.
Tenth-ranked Cardinals prospect James Ramsey extended Salt River's lead with a three-run homer in a six-run eighth.
Yankees prospect Peter O'Brien belted a two-run homer in the seventh for the Scorpions.
Braves No. 10 prospect Aaron Northcraft started for Scottsdale and was charged with two runs on three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out four.