Vlad Jr. plates three in AFL opener

Baseball's top prospect goes 3-for-5, doubles twice

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led the Minors with a .381 batting average and drove in 78 runs in 95 games this season. (Arizona Fall League)

By MiLB.com staff / MiLB.com | October 10, 2018 12:42 AM

Not even a month off can slow Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Three at-bats were all he needed to make his mark on the Arizona Fall League, as MLB.com's top-ranked prospect went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs in Surprise's 10-8 loss to Salt River on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium.

Gameday box score

After striking out in the first inning and lining out to right field in the third against Rockies No. 10 prospect Ryan Castellani, Guerrero Jr. led off the bottom of the sixth with a ground-rule double down the left field line and scored three batters later on a triple to center by Cardinals infielder Andy Young. He followed that with a single to center to score Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker in the seventh.

Entering the ninth facing a 10-6 deficit, the Saguaros put two runners on with two outs and Guerrero Jr. due up. The 19-year-old third baseman delivered with his third consecutive hit, a ringing double to center off 17th-ranked Rockies prospect Justin Lawrence that scored Tucker and Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee. Cavan Biggio, the Jays' No. 9 prospect, grounded out to first as the game's tying run.

Tucker had two hits and scored three runs, while Royals catcher Meibrys Viloria went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

D-backs No. 4 prospect Pavin Smith and Rockies No. 9 prospect Sam Hilliard had three hits apiece for Salt River, with Smith plating two runs and scoring twice. Luke Raley, the Twins' 19th-ranked prospect, contributed two hits and three RBIs for the Rafters.

In other AFL action

Javelinas 8, Desert Dogs 7

Mariners No. 20 prospect Ian Miller hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning to push Peoria past Glendale in another AFL season opener. Top Brewers prospect Keston Hiura capped the Javelinas' four-run fourth with a three-run double, while second-ranked M's prospect Evan White was 2-for-2 with two doubles, two walks, two RBIs and a run scored.  Wyatt Mills, Seattle's No. 9 prospect, tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win and Brewers southpaw Daniel Brown struck out four over 2 1/3 hitless frames. Indians catcher Connor Marabell went 3-for-5 with two RBIs for Glendale, while fourth-ranked White Sox prospect Luis Robert singled in a run, walked and scored twice. Gameday box score

Solar Sox 4, Scorpions 3

Astros No. 2 prospect Forrest Whitley opened with a flourish for Scottsdale in his first start since mid-August. Whitley fanned the first seven batters he saw on the way to allowing two runs on one hit with two walks and eight strikeouts over 3 1/3 innings. Peter Alonso, the Mets' No. 2 prospect, singled twice and drove home a pair of runs for the Scorpions. Tigers No. 8 prospect Daz Cameron also singled twice and scored a run out of the leadoff spot for Mesa, but A's outfielder Luis Barrera was the hero. He snapped a tie with an inside-the-park homer in the ninth. Gameday box score

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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