Araujo, Wood pace P-Rays' romp

Tampa Bay prospect homers twice, plates career-high six runs

By Robert Emrich / | August 23, 2013 6:17 PM ET

Yoel Araujo left the yard twice on Friday night, but it was his lone hit that didn't that had his manager talking.

The Rays prospect homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs to power Rookie-level Princeton to a 10-3 romp over Bristol at Hunnicutt Field.

After grounding out in the first inning, Araujo launched a two-run blast over the center-field fence in the third. An inning later, the P-Rays' No. 3 hitter found paydirt in the same spot, plating three more with his sixth homer of the season. Following a strikeout in the seventh, Araujo singled up the middle with two outs in the eighth, capping his career night.

While the two blasts were impressive, it was his final at-bat that pleased his manager, former big league catcher Danny Sheaffer.

"Probably his best at-bat was his last at-bat," Sheaffer said. "It was his hardest hit ball of the night. The fly balls that went out of the park to center field were struck pretty well, but that last ball was the hardest hit of the night. He's got power to all fields, but when he uses the middle of the field to right-center, that's where his consistent power is."

It was the second two-homer game of the season for the 19-year-old outfielder, who also went deep twice against Johnson City on July 31. While he's batting .201 with six homers and 21 RBIs, Araujo has shown signs of life in August, with a .246 average and 11 walks in 19 games. It's all part of the process, according to his manager.

"When he stays away from the pull side and uses the middle of the field he can hit the ball a long way," Sheaffer said. "He's a young hitter that needs to learn the strike zone; and when he does, he can do some damage. He'll learn, he's young and he needs at-bats, and he'll get them."

Just as impressive as Araujo was Princeton starter Hunter Wood (3-3), who took a perfect game into the fifth before allowing a single and a walk. The 20-year-old right-hander recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts over five innings as the White Sox put only four balls in play against the 29th-round pick in this year's Draft.

"By far, the best outing he's had all year. He spun the ball well," Sheaffer said. "He competes, stays in the strike zone and he's throwing the ball as good as anyone in the league. He threw his breaking ball for a strike anytime he wanted to, but for the most part he commanded his fastball to both sides of the plate and it was down in the zone."

Sheaffer said he thought Wood's final inning was his best, even though it was the only one in which he put runners on base.

"He kept his composure. Following the walk, he threw some of the better breaking balls of the night," he said. "He didn't show any nervousness. Quality outing for him."

Overall, Wood -- who did not start the season in the P-Rays' rotation -- is 3-3 with a 3.95 ERA in 15 games. He's racked up 55 strikeouts over 41 innings, owing in part to a curveball that Sheaffer described as having "a lot of bite."

Travis Flores added a two-run homer and Wilmer Dominguez went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored for Princeton, which has won five in a row.

Victor Velazquez tripled and scored a run for Bristol.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More