• AFL Championship: Scottsdale, Arizona's Scottsdale Stadium was the site of the 2012 Arizona Fall League's Championship Game this afternoon between the Salt River Rafters and Peoria Javelinas. The Rafters' roster features a number of Washington Nationals' prospects, including 25-year-old right-hander Ryan Perry, who started for the Rafters this afternoon. Two pitches into the game the Nats' pitching prospect, acquired from the Detroit Tigers last winter, was in trouble after base-stealing sensation and Cincinnati Reds' OF prospect Billy Hamilton tripled to the gap in right-center to start the AFL finale. Hamilton scored and the Javelinas got two runs total on Perry in the top of the inning. 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 19 P, 9 S for Perry... down 2-0.
• Billy Bags: 21-year-old Seattle Mariners' prospect Mike Zunino drove in the Javelinas' third run of the game off Ryan Perry with the third single of the second inning off the Nats' right-handed pitching prospect. Reds' shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius singled with one down, took second when Billy Hamilton bunted his way on and Nats' 1B prospect (and 2012 Player of the Year) Matt Skole made an ill-advised attempt to field the speedy outfielder's bunt. Zunino's two-out line drive to center drove Gregorius in before Skole made a diving play at first on a hard-hit ball by Mariners' prospect Nick Franklin. Perry threw 15 pitches in the second, leaving him with 34 total in 2.0 IP.
• Skole: Matt Skole, who played 3rd all year, is playing first in the Arizona Fall League, and he made two diving plays at first to help Ryan Perry out early in this afternoon's game. Perry gave up a leadoff single by Dominican-born, 21-year-old Padres' prospect Rymer Liriano in the top of the third, but w/ an assist from Skole on a backhand stab for out no.2, Perry was one out away from escaping trouble when fellow San Diego prospect Nate Freiman's two-out single to center drove Liriano in from third to make it 4-1 Peoria. A 23-pitch inning by Perry had him at 57 after 3.0 IP.
• Ryan Perry's Line: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 57 P, 34 S
• 2011 1st Rounder: Brian Goodwin walked in a one-out at bat against Seattle Mariners' RHP pitching prospect Carson Smith to become the first Nats' prospect to reach base in the AFL Championship game. After a couple attempts, Smith managed to pick Goodwin off first for the second out of the Salt River fourth. Matt Skole K'd swinging for his second K in 3 ABs and the third out of the inning. 4-3 Javelinas after 4.0 innings. Goodwin note: MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo sat in with MLB Network's announce team and said a scout he talked to said Goodwin was best hitter in AFL, while another said he won't hit in majors. #agreetodisagreeiguess
• Skole W/ More D: 24-year-old, 2010 9th Round pick Aaron Barrett was the second Nats' pitcher in action today, taking over with two on and one out and retiring the two batters he faced on two pitches to get the Rafters out of a jam in the top of the fifth. Matt Skole made another nice play on a sharp grounder to first by Billy Hamilton in the top of the sixth, then continued the strong defensive play two singles later when he started an inning-ending 3-6-1 DP to keep things close after five and a half in Scottsdale.
• Left Too Early: Brian Goodwin tripled to start the bottom of the seventh inning with the first hit by a Nats' prospect, taking a first-pitch fastball from San Diego Padres' prospect Matt Stites to right-center and off the outfield wall. Not even Billy Hamilton could catch up to this one. Goodwin tagged and scored what appeared to be the tying run on a sac fly to left by D-Backs' infield prospect Chris Owings, but the Javelinas appealed the play and the umpires ruled that Goodwin had left the bag early and was thus out on what was ruled a double play. Still 4-3 Peoria.
• Hope He's Not Hurt: Nats' prospect Anthony Rendon collected his first hit of the game off Reds' prospect Curtis Partch, tripling off the right-center wall in spite of a nice effort by Billy Hamilton. 1 for 4 for Rendon. The Reds' OF prospect made a leaping attempt at the wall, but hit hard and apparently hurt himself, though he managed to throw the ball in to hold Rendon to a triple. Hamilton stayed down for around 10 minutes and left the game. Hamilton had to be helped off the field. Rendon tried to score from third on a swinging bunt back to the mound by Carlos Sanchez, but Partch made a nice play to get the ball home in time so Mike Zunino could tag Rendon out. Still 4-3 Javelinas...
And that's how it ends. 4-3 final. Peoria Javelinas are the 2012 AFL Champions.