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Winter League Baseball...Nationals' Prospects In The Arizona Fall League.

(ed. note - "When we last checked in with Arizona Fall Leagues' Nationals' prospect-filled roster of the Peoria Saguaros on 10/28, the Saguaros had just dropped a 10-1 decision to AFL American Division rivals, the Mesa Solar Sox, leaving both teams tied atop the three-team division at 12-6.") 

Wednesday, 10/29/08 Peoria vs the Surprise Rafters...

Surprise Stadium, Surprise, Arizona, and it's the Surprise Rafters welcoming the Peoria Saguaros to town and giving up runs galore in a 12-6 Saguaros' win which allowed them to keep pace with the Mesa Solar Sox, who beat the Scottsdale Scorpions at home in Mesa by a score of 10-4 to keep things close with both teams 13-6 in the AFL's American division race. 

The only Nationals to see action on Thursday were the pitchers, with lefty Ross Detwiler and right-handed reliever Adam Carr throwing scoreless frames in the win. Detwiler allowed three hits but held the Rafters scoreless for the first (H)old of a still scoreless Fall. Carr, lowered his ERA a bit to 1.08 after giving up just 1 hit in the top of the ninth. 

Thursday, 10/30/08 Surprise Rafters at Peoria...

Peoria takes their second straight from the Surprise squad, but this one's a little closer and there are more Nationals' prospects involved, as the Saguaros work out a 3-2 win with Zechry Zinicola, Washington's '06 6th Round pick picking up his first (S)ave of the fall with a scoreless top of the ninth after the Saguaros had gone ahead on a two-out triple by Cardinals' infield prospect Tyler Greene. Zinicola needed just 11 pitches, 8 of which were strikes to set the Rafters down and lift Peoria to 14-6 on the season. 

DC prospects Ian Desmond and Bill Rhinehart starter for the Saguaros, but were held hitless by the Rafters' pitchers. Desmond finished the game 0-2 with an RBI(9) and a .244 AFL AVG. Rhinehart was 0 for 4 with a walk, a K and a .229 AVG after play ended. Mesa defeated the Scottsdale Scorpions as well, so as All Hallows' Eve ended, the Saguaros and Solar Sox were still tied in the AFL American division.

Friday, 10/31/08 Phoenix Desert Dogs at Peoria...

The Desert Dogs from Phoenix, AZ were next into the Peoria Sports Complex, and they were the next team to get hammered by the Saguaros, who collected 11 hits and 11 runs to improve to 15-6 with an 11-3 win. Shortstop Ian Desmond, the only Nationals' prospect in action on Halloween, did his part in the win, going 3 for 5 with a double, a triple and 3 runs scored, improving his AVG to .280 this Fall. 

Mesa managed to win as well, taking a 3-2 win over Peoria's second-favorite sons, the Javelinas.

Saturday, 11/1/08 Peoria vs Phoenix Desert Dogs...

The Saguaros drop the away half of the home and home with Phoenix 8-5, and the Mesa Solar Sox beat the Peo Javelinas 13-3 to take a 1.0 game lead over Peoria in the AFL's American division standings as of this morning. Bill Rhinehart started at first for Peoria, but went 0 for 5 with 3 K's to lower his Fall average to .208. Ross Detwiler allowed a hit, a walk and collected a K on the way to continuing his perfect fall with another scoreless frame, and Adam Carr came on in the bottom of the eight and let a sac fly stretch the Desert Dogs' lead to three runs. 

Updated AFL Stats for Nationals' Prospects...


Leonard Davis - OF - 11 G, 14 for 43, .326 AVG, 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI's. 

Ian Desmond - SS - 15 G, 14 for 50, .280 AVG, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI's. 

Bill Rhinehart - 1B - 11 for 53, .208 AVG, 4 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI's. 


Zechry Zinicola - (0-0, 1.74 ERA), 8 G, 10.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 6 K's, 0.87 WHIP, 2 H.

Cory VanAllen - (0-1, 11.17 ERA), 4 GS, 9.2 IP, 18 H, 12 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 11 K's, 2.07 WHIP.

Adam Carr - (0-0, 1.93 ERA), 9 G, 9.1 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1BB, 6 K's, 1.07 WHIP, 1 H.

Ross Detwiler - (0-0, 0.00 ERA), 5 G, 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K's, 1.38 WHIP, 1 H. 

- Nationals' Pitching Coach Randy St. Claire visited with Washington's prospects recently, and's Bill Ladson has an interesting article on the visit entitled, "St. Claire visits AFL prospects" which provides the big league coach's progress reports on the organization's young players. The most enthusiastic review was saved for Zechry Zinicola, with Mr. St. Claire quoted by Mr. Ladson stating:

"'I saw him pitch twice and he threw [exceptionally well], especially the second time after we worked on a couple of little things,' said St Claire. 'I don't know if they are inviting him to Spring Training, but I told Jim I would love to see him in Spring Training. He really impressed me.'"

Peoria's next game is Monday night in Scottsdale, AZ.