If Taylor Sparks has slipped under the radar over the last two regular seasons, the Reds infield prospect has done plenty to gain notice during the Arizona Fall League.The 24-year-old third baseman went yard in consecutive at-bats Wednesday to lead the Scottsdale Scorpions (10-8) to a 7-5 win over the
If Taylor Sparks has slipped under the radar over the last two regular seasons, the Reds infield prospect has done plenty to gain notice during the Arizona Fall League.
The 24-year-old third baseman went yard in consecutive at-bats Wednesday to lead the Scottsdale Scorpions (10-8) to a 7-5 win over the Peoria Javelinas (11-8). Sparks went 2-for-4, boosting his AFL average to .326, and the pair of homers give him three jacks and 12 RBIs over 12 games.
Gameday box score
The 2014 second-round pick struggled to a .200/.256/.337 slash line over Class A Advanced and Double-A ball last year, then suffered a broken wrist when he was hit by a pitch in the Southern League on April 30. After a July rehab assignment in the Rookie-level Arizona League, Sparks spent the rest of the season in the Class A Midwest League. Although he batted .199 over 57 games across the three levels, the UC Irvine product posted a .307 on-base percentage and 10 homers, nine doubles and a triple.
With Scottsdale, Sparks has tallied four multiple-hit games and gone hitless just twice, amassing a .385 on-base percentage and a .587 slugging percentage with three stolen bases.
"This is like playing All-Star teams," he told MLB.com on Oct. 17. "You're facing great arms and everybody on the field deserves to be here. The standard is a little higher. You just got to stick to your approach and stick to your style and not try to overdo anything."
Offseason MiLB include
Up against Padres right-hander Walker Lockett in the second inning, Sparks pulled a 2-2 offering over the left-field wall for a solo homer to give the Scorpions a 3-0 lead. He led off the fifth by swatting Lockett's 1-0 pitch out of the same part of the ballpark.
Seventh-ranked San Francisco prospectSteven Duggar stole three bases, doubled, singled and scored two times out of the leadoff spot for Scottsdale.
No. 25 Yankees prospectCody Carroll logged his circuit-best fourth save, fanning three over two perfect innings.
Eric Filia (Mariners) belted his first AFL roundtripper, a three-run jack for the Javelinas.
In other AFL action:
Solar Sox 8, Saguaros 5
Washington's top prospectVictor Robles, No. 23 Nationals prospect Taylor Gushue and Jason Vosler (Cubs) slugged their second home runs of AFL while Kelvin Gutierrez tallied three hits for Mesa. Right-hander Burch Smith (Rays) allowed one hit and six walks with two strikeouts in four scoreless innings for Surprise. No. 11 Royals prospectNicky Lopez, Sean Miller (Twins) and Brett Sullivan (Rays) plated a run apiece. Gameday box score
Rafters 6, Desert Dogs 0
Baltimore's third-ranked prospectRyan Mountcastle roped a two-RBI double in Salt River's victory. James Needy (Marlins) allowed a pair of hits and a walk over four frames. Steve Wilkerson (Orioles) and Miami prospects Braxton Lee and Rodrigo Vigil each contributed an RBI knock. Ka'ai Tom (Indians) had a pair of singles for the Desert Dogs, who were held to five hits by six different Rafters pitchers. Gameday box score