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Scavuzzo wins AFL Hitting Challenge

On tiebreaker, Dodgers prospect edges Marlins' Dean for overall title
October 18, 2015

The Astros and Dodgers may not have been playing on Saturday, but two of their possible stars of the future were giving their fans something to be excited about.

Astros No. 5 prospect A.J. Reed and Dodgers outfielder Jacob Scavuzzo captured the American League and National League titles Saturday night at the Arizona Fall League's Bowman Hitting Challenge at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Scavuzzo won the overall crown by beating Marlins No. 7 prospect Austin Dean in a tiebreaker in the event, which brought a close to the first week of AFL action.

The annual Hitting Challenge provides some of the league's top offensive talent a chance to showcase their skills in a unique competition. Batters are awarded points for spraying baseballs at targets placed around the field as well as hitting home runs to different parts of the park. Each hitter gets a two-minute round to accumulate as many points as possible.

"It was a little different," Scavuzzo said. "I've never really been in anything like this before, with all the targets on the field and trying to hit the ball to different parts of the field and get more points for it. It's not just a normal, traditional home run derby. I really enjoyed it."

Scavuzzo batted .286/.337/.500 in 119 games this season for Class A Great Lakes and Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. He racked up 2,450 points during his round.

Reed, a 2015 MiLBY Award contender for Top Offensive Player and Breakout Prospect, was the Minor League leader with 34 homers. The 22-year-old first baseman compiled a .340/.432/.612 line with a Minors-best 127 RBIs in 135 games between Class A Advanced Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. He totaled 1,600 points on Saturday night.

"It's something I'd never really done before," he said. "It was really cool to be able to do this and I just had a lot of fun with it."

Reed,'s No. 91 overall prospect, and Scavuzzo -- both members of the AFL's Glendale Desert Dogs -- were joined by other top talent that included Brewers No. 2 prospect Brett Phillips, Twins No. 10 prospect Adam Brett Walker II, A's No. 6 prospect Renato Nunez and Rangers No. 4 prospect Lewis Brinson.

Kansas City's Ramon Torres and Blue Jays No. 7 prospect Rowdy Tellez finished behind Reed in the American League, while Cardinals No. 12 prospect Patrick Wisdom rounded out the N.L.'s top finishers.

"It was kind of like the [Major League] Home Run Derby, where you see the guys down by the dugout cheering everybody on and wanting everybody to have a good time," Reed said. "It was a lot of fun to be able to be down here with all these guys."

Scavuzzo agreed.

"It's great to meet all these guys. They're the best prospects in the game," he said. "We're all really competitive. We were trying to win this thing from the start."

With the win in his pocket, Scavuzzo was happy to finish his first few days back on the field with a moment to savor.

"We had a couple weeks off before we got out here, and it was nice to get that little break," he said. "But you kind of start missing baseball again. If you talk to anyone in the Minor Leagues, they say it's a grind, sometimes it's a struggle. Once you take a couple weeks off, you want to be back out on the field.

"I was ready to come out here and show these guys what I've got."

Tyler Maun is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.