Skipworth goes yard, leads Saguaros to win
Marlins prospect collects two hits in another wild Fall League tilt
In his second season in the Arizona Fall League, Kyle Skipworth has seen it all. So it didn't raise an eyebrow when his Surprise Saguaros posted a seven-run first inning or when the Scottsdale Scorpions tied it in the eighth.
"I have a good idea of what to expect," the former first-round pick said. "The ball flies here and everybody is throwing hard. This is not uncommon. It's back and forth and you're never out of the game."
In the midst of the craziness, the Marlins' No. 4 prospect had two hits, including his second AFL homer, to help the first-place Saguaros hold on for a 13-8 victory on Friday afternoon.
The Saguaros became the second team in as many days to score seven times in the opening inning. Helped by a grand slam, the Phoenix Desert Dogs jumped ahead Thursday en route to a 10-9 triumph over the Peoria Javelinas.
Eight of the first nine batters reached safely in Surprise's eventful inning. Former first-rounder Mike Olt (Rangers) doubled in two runs and Braves prospect Joey Terdoslavich tripled home another before Skipworth -- selected sixth overall in 2008 -- belted a two-run shot off Matt Purke (Nationals).
"My whole game plan was [looking] middle of the plate to get the run in somewhere, just put something in play," said Skipworth, who also singled. "I got the take sign on 3-0, so I got a good feel for his release point."
Skipworth batted .207 with 11 homers and 49 RBIs in his first season at Double-A Jacksonville. He called the first two months there a "struggle" offensively, adding that he learned something on a daily basis defensively.
"When my season ended, I went down to our instructs and worked with or hitting coordinator, Jack Howell, and so far it has run over the Fall League. That's a credit to the work we have done," said Skipworth, who's batting .381 with four RBIs in seven AFL games. "Really being very simple, getting the motion of my lower half starting on the swing.
Will Skipworth begin next season at Triple-A New Orleans?
"I haven't been told," he said, "and I don't plan to ask. I'm not worried about my development."
The Scorpions jumped out to a very temporary lead in the top of first on a two-run homer Will Middlebrooks, the Red Sox's No. 4 prospect. He's got three homers and 10 RBIs in nine games.
Starting in the third, the Scorpions scored single runs in four consecutive innings before tying the game in the seventh. Catcher Dan Butler (Red Sox) went 3-for-4 with RBI doubles in the sixth and seventh to key the comeback.
Royals top prospect Wil Myers doubled home two runs and scored on a sacrifice fly by Olt in the bottom of the seventh as Surprise retook command.
Surprise starter Shane Dyer (Rays) allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out two over four innings. Rangers right-hander Justin Miller (1-0) worked 1 1/3 scoreless frames for the win.
Purke recorded out and was charged with seven runs on five hits and a walk. The loss went to Nationals prospect Pat Lehman (0-2), who surrendered five runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.