Wheeler perfect in Rafters' rout

Rockes' No. 10 prospect collects five hits, scores two runs

Tim Wheeler has driven in 10 runs in 14 games for the Salt River Rafters. (Jason Wise/MLB.com)

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | October 31, 2013 3:57 PM ET

Tim Wheeler provided the Saguaros pitching staff with plenty of Halloween scares Thursday.

The Rockies' No. 10 prospect had a perfect day at the plate, collecting five hits and scoring twice, as Salt River routed Surprise, 10-0.

Wheeler collected three singles and two doubles in his offensive barrage. After singling in his first at-bat in the second inning, he crossed the plate on Jacob Wilson's three-run homer as the Rafters claimed an early 3-0 lead. Wheeler collected an RBI single an inning later and he scored the club's eighth run after doubling in the fifth.

"I did a good job using the whole field," the 25-year-old outfielder said. "It just worked out today."

The offensive onslaught helped the Rafters to their sixth win in seven contests, evening their record at 10-10.

"We've got a group of guys that just enjoy playing together," Wheeler said of the hot streak. "We're pushing each other and we go out expecting a win every time. We have some talented players, but all these teams have talented guys. We're doing a good job playing together."

Wheeler's performance raised his Arizona Fall League average to .309. The California native has 10 RBIs and four extra-base hits in 14 games for the Rafters. While his perfect day pleased him, Wheeler is more interested in the way he approaches each game than gaudy numbers.

"I want to keep pushing and keep a good mind-set every time I come to the park, whether it was a good day or a bad day the night before," he said. "I want to keep trying to prove I'm a big leaguer because I know I am.

"I've been working on trying to stay through the ball and get good extension at the plate. Defensively, I want to play relaxed and make good decisions. So far, it's been going well."

Drew Hutchison (Blue Jays) made the offense stand up, surrendering two hits and striking out three over five innings for his first win of the fall. Rockies relievers Cole White and Tyler Matzek, Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays) and Matt Stiles (D-backs) combined to give up two hits over the final four frames to finish off the shutout.

"Hutchison has done a good job for us every time he's pitched," Wheeler said. "We've played some good defense behind them, but everyone did a good job throwing their fastball for strikes and then throwing their secondary stuff to keep them off balance."

Wilson, the Cardinals' No. 20 prospect, finished with four RBIs and James Ramsey, St. Louis' No. 10 prospect, plated two runs out of the leadoff spot.

Rangers' top prospect Jorge Alfaro had two hits to raise his average to an AFL-best .422 for the Saguaros.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. 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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