Kivlehan picking up nuances in AFL

Mariners' No. 16 prospect goes 2-for-4 with an RBI in victory

Patrick Kivlehan batted .303 with 90 RBIs in 128 Minor League games. (Dylan Higgins/AFL)

By Robert Emrich / | October 22, 2013 9:38 PM ET

A few years ago, Patrick Kivlehan was doing something a little different in October.

So after leaving football behind to focus on baseball, the Mariners' No. 16 prospect is in the Arizona Fall League. He singled twice and drove in a run as Peoria beat Salt River, 5-3, on Tuesday.

Kivlehan lined to left field in his first at-bat in the third inning. He was forced out on the next play, but the Javelinas went on to score three times in the frame. The New York native singled home Jorge Bonifacio in the next inning before grounding out in his final two-at bats.

"I felt good," he said. "It was nice to finally get a couple hits and get the win. I just wanted to stay aggressive [and] get my pitch. You just want to do your part. I started it off and the rest of them finished it."

A fourth-round pick by the Mariners in 2012, Kivlehan is coming off a strong full-season debut, batting .303 with 16 homers in 128 games between Class A Clinton and Class A Advanced High Desert. The 23-year-old third baseman was second in the Mariners organization with 90 RBIs and scored 74 runs.

A football player at Rutgers, he switched back to baseball in fall 2011 following a three-year hiatus from the sport. The change did him good.

"Every now and then you think about it," Kivlehan said. "Mostly in [the] offseason when I'm at home late at night and doing nothing. I'm thinking about where I've been and where I've come from. Hopefully, one day [I'll] make it [to the Major Leagues]."

Kivlehan is batting .238 in six Arizona Fall League games and he has driven in a run in the past two games for the Javelinas. Participating in the league has given him a bigger frame of reference about the game.

"There's not too much specific," he said "I just want to get better at everything. Being so new to baseball, I just want to get as many reps as possible.

"I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't know anyone going except on my team. So far everything that's happened and everyone I've met have been awesome. I'm loving it out there."

Fellow Mariners farmhand Chris Taylor was 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and a run scored while Cameron Rupp drove in a pair of runs for Peoria. Bonifacio, the Royals' No. 5 prospect, doubled and singled.

Alex Sogard (Astros) improved to 2-1 after fanning two over two perfect innings. Carson Smith (Mariners) allowed a pair of hits in a scoreless ninth to record his first save of the fall.

Rockies' No. 9 prospect Kyle Parker homered, doubled and plated two runs and Stephen Piscotty, the Cardinals' seventh-ranked prospect, doubled home a run for the Rafters.

Grayson Garvin (Rays) gave up four runs on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.

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.

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