Blog Entry

Harper, Scorpions win AFL; Ackley takes MVP

Posted on: November 20, 2010 6:00 pm
 
Bryce Harper has yet to see a major-league pitch and yet he is already a champion.
The Arizona Fall League has come to a close, with the Scottsdale Scorpions defeating the Peoria Javelinas, 3-2, in the championship game.

Scottsdale got a gem of a start from the Nationals' Sammy Solis, who went four innings, giving up one earned run (plus another run) and walked one, whiffing three. On offense, Rockies prospect Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-2 with a walk before being removed from the game.

Top prospect Bryce Harper was responsible for an RBI in his first at-bat of the day, ripping a first-pitch single just past the Red Sox' Jose Iglesias at short. Harper finished with the sole hit and two strikeouts in four trips to the plate.

Ackley Although Harper got most of the attention in the AFL on the days he played, the overall MVP came from Peoria, as second baseman Dustin Ackley (pictured) walked away with the honors.

"Dustin Ackley produced one of the most consistent offensive performances in the history of the Fall League," AFL director Steve Cobb said. "His ability was obvious a year ago when the Mariners also sent him to the Fall League to refine his skills against other top prospects just four months after making him the No. 2 pick in  the 2009 draft. His development has been rapid. Combined with his leadership traits, Dustin’s future is bright."

The Mariners' pick batted third in the championship game and went 1-for-4. He finished the AFL regular season with a stellar .424 average and may push for a big-league spot in spring training.

Ex-Oriole pitcher Adam Loewen, now 26 and in the Blue Jays system as an outfielder, shined with a 3-for-3 night and a walk, all hits as singles.

Alas, Ackley, Loewen and Iglesias (who turned a beautiful double play) weren't enough to win the game. The two runs the offense scored couldn't overcome Kyle Greenwalt's two runs allowed in three innings, with Tom Wilhelmsen coughing up the winning run in the fourth.

-- Evan Brunell

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