SCOTTSDALE AZ - OCTOBER 20: Nats' '10 Draft picks Sammy Solis #51 (left) and #34 Bryce Harper (right) are representing the Nationals with the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
6'5'' left-hander Sammy Solis, the Washington Nationals' 2nd Round pick in 2010 Draft after Bryce Harper went no.1 overall to the Nats this past June, made his second AFL start Friday night at home in Scottsdale Stadium against the same Peoria Javelinas he'd faced in his Arizona Fall League debut. In Solis' first AFL start, the 22-year-old former University of San Diego starter struggled early, allowing a leadoff single, RBI double and a walk to the first three batters he faced, before retiring the next two Javelinas' hitters and picking off the one he'd walked. Solis set the next six batters he faced down in order to finish his initial AFL outing with 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER and 1 BB allowed with 1 K collected and 45 pitches thrown, 25 for strikes.
Solis' second start for the Scorpions began with the left-hander retiring six of the first seven batters he faced, allowing only a two-out walk in the first to the no.2 overall pick in the '09 Draft, Mariners' infield prospect Dustin Ackley. Solis walked the leadoff batter in the third, but escaped trouble when the Javelinas' Jay Austin, an Astros' '08 2nd Rounder, popped up a bunt in front of Blue Jays' infield prospect Adeiny Hechavvarria, who grounded into an inning-ending DP. In the fourth, however, Peoria got to the Nats' pitching prospect, chasing Solis from the game after a one-out walk (again to Ackley), four-straight singles, three of which scored runs, and an RBI groundout that made it 4-1 Javelinas a half-inning after Scottsdale had jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Solis' line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K's, 66 pitches, 40 strikes thrown.
Nats' pitching prospect Brad Peacock threw a scoreless sixth, giving up a leadoff single before retiring the next three Javelinas' hitters, two of them swinging. In 4 appearances and 6.0 AFL innings pitched, the 22-year-old right-hander has now recorded 12 K's while walking just one batter and giving up 1 ER on 4 hits. The only other product of the Nationals' system in the Scottsdale lineup on Friday was second baseman Stephen Lombardozzi, who contributed an RBI sac fly to the cause in what ends up a Scottsdale win after the Scorpions pick Solis up with a 5-run fifth, two in the sixth and four more in the eighth for a 12-4 victory which makes the team 7-3 so far in AFL action. Lombardozzi goes 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI, and the 22-year-old '08 19th Round pick is now 6 for 24 (.250) with a .367 OBP, .417 SLG, 4 doubles, 4 walks and 2 RBI's six games into his first Fall League experience.
Today: The Phoenix Desert Dogs visit Scottsdale Stadium where they'll take on a Scorpions' lineup that features the fastest-swinging 18-year-old in the AFL, Bryce Harper, who'll be making his second AFL start for the Scorpions as part of the "Taxi" squad which only plays on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Harper was 1 for 4 with a two-RBI double in his first taste of Fall League action this past Wednesday, though he made solid contact in three of four at bats and somehow inspired awe with a pop-up in his first official AFL AB. The Desert Dogs and the Scorpions get started at 3:35 pm in the East, 12:35 in the afternoon in Arizona...Who's Watching Bryce Harper's second AFL game?