Nationals AFL Update: Sammy Solis Earns Win; Mesa Solar Sox In AFL Championship

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

With a 9-3 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs in Arizona Fall League action, the Mesa Solar Sox clinched the AFL East and a spot in the Championship Game on Saturday afternoon. Sammy Solis earned the win in the final start of his third stint in Arizona.

Washington Nationals' prospect Sammy Solis improved to (5-2) in Arizona Fall League action with a win over the Glendale Desert Dogs this afternoon at the Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ. Solis, 25, allowed six hits and one earned run while striking out four in five innings of work in which he threw 68 pitches, 49 for strikes while inducing six ground ball outs from the Desert Dogs' batters. With their 9-3 win today, the Mesa Solar Sox improved to 19-11-1, earned the AFL East Division title and claimed a spot in the fall league's Championship Game this Saturday night in Scottsdale, Arizona's Scottsdale Stadium.

Baseball America ranked Solis 6th overall in the Nationals' organization after a 2013 campaign in which the 2010 2nd pick returned from Tommy John surgery to make 13 appearances for the High-A Potomac Nationals, 12 of them starts, in which the 6'5'' left-hander was (2-1) with a 3.43 ERA, a 3.48 FIP, 19 walks (2.97 BB/9) and 40 Ks (6.24 K/9) in 57 2/3 IP. Solis finished his third stint in the so-called "finishing school" for the game's top prospects with a 2.17 ERA, seven walks (2.17 BB/9) and 29 Ks (9.00 K/9) in 29 IP.

Brian Goodwin and Adrian Nieto, Jr. were the only other Nats' prospects in the lineup for the Solar Sox on Thursday. Goodwin, 23, was 1 for 4 with a double, a walk and two Ks in Mesa's win. In his second AFL stint, the Nationals' 2011 1st Round pick finished 24 for 81 (.296/.333/.444) with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, three steals, four walks and 22 Ks in 19 games. The strong showing in Arizona follows a 2013 campaign at Double-A Harrisburg in which Goodwin put up a .252/.355/.407 line with 19 doubles, 11 triples, 10 HRs and 19 stolen bases in 122 games and 531 plate appearances for the Senators.

Nieto, 24, spent the 2013 season at High-A Potomac where the catcher had a .285/.373/.449 line, 29 doubles and 11 HRs in 110 games and 452 PAs with the P-Nats. After a 1 for 5 game today in Arizona, the catcher finished his first AFL stint 13 for 48 (.271/.345/.333) with a double, triple, six walks and 10 Ks in 13 games.

The Mesa Solar Sox and the Surprise Saguaros meet in the AFL Championship Game at 1:10 PM MST on Saturday, 3:10 PM EST in D.C.

In an article on the Nationals' prospects playing in Arizona earlier this week, MLB.com's Mike Feigen wrote that if Solis and the Solar Sox could win today it, "could potentially put fellow Nationals southpaw Matt Purke (3-1, 3.91) on the mound for the Championship Game." No word yet on if Purke will get the nod...

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