The Mesa Solar Sox improved to 11-7 in Arizona Fall League action with a 7-0 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions on Wednesday night in Scottsdale, AZ's Scottsdale Stadium. With the Sox up 1-0 after one, two Washington Nationals' prospects combined to make it 3-0 when Steven Souza, Jr. singled with one down and scored on a 2-run home run by 2012 Nats' Minor League Player of the Year Matt Skole. Brian Goodwin, the Nationals' 2011 1st Round pick, singled and scored one of two runs Mesa added in the fifth as the Solar Sox went up 5-0.
Souza, 24, went 1 for 5 on Wednesday, improving to 9 for 25 (.360/.467/.400) with a double, five walks, six Ks and nine stolen bases in seven AFL games. Skole, also 24, was 1 for 4 with the two-run home run, a walk and two Ks. In 10 games in Arizona, the left-handed hitting 1B/3B is now 6 for 32 (.188/.409/.500) with a double, three home runs, 12 walks and nine Ks.
Goodwin, 22, who will represent the Nats in Saturday's AFL Fall Stars Game, was 2 for 5 in the Solar Sox' win, singling in a run in the fifth and doubling for the third time this fall for his second hit. After 12 games, the Nats' top outfield prospect is 16 for 51 (.314/.352/.373) with two walks and 13 Ks so far in his second stint in the so-called "finishing school" for the game's top prospects.
Goodwin told MLB.com's Teddy Cahill that he's been impressed with Skole's work in Arizona after the Nationals' 2011 5th Round pick played just two games at Double-A Harrisburg this year before suffering a torn UCL in his left elbow on a defensive play at first base. Skole has worked his way back from surgery to repair his elbow and a microfracture in the wrist of his left (non-throwing) arm, but he missed an important season in his development. Back at work in the AFL, his teammate told MLB.com's Mr. Cahill that Skole's knocking off the rust:
"'Skole is coming back strong,' Goodwin said. 'He had a little vacation there, but I think he's getting back in the swing of things. Next year should be really good for him and for the Nats as a whole system with all of us.'"
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