5-3-1, 0.0 GU
Because the Arizona Fall League's focus is more geared toward player development than game results, any contest tied after 11 innings ends as just that––a tie.
That's what happened in Phoenix on Thursday, as the Saguaros and Desert Dogs finished in a 2-2 knot after 11 frames.
Surprise starting pitcher and Rangers prospect Joe Van Meter, pitching on his 24th birthday, yielded both of his club's runs. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits in 3.2 innings, walking two and striking out two.
Van Meter has the following stat-line through two AFL starts––6.0 ip, 9 h, 4 r, 4 bb, 4 k.
Shortstop Hanser Alberto (0/4, BB) and first baseman Chris McGuiness (0/4, BB) both went 0-for-4 with a base on balls. Alberto batted second for Surprise while McGuiness hit in the cleanup spot.
Though McGuiness went hitless on Thursday, he's tied for the Arizona Fall League lead in both home runs (three) and RBI (nine) in his first seven games played.
In the Dominican Republic's only game, Leury Garcia's Cibao club dropped an 8-7 decision to Escogido. Garcia, who batted leadoff and played at second base, continued his hot winterball start by going 4-for-5 with a double.
Eduard Pinto earned his first-ever Venezuelan Winter League start on Thursday, batting ninth and playing in right field for the Navegantes del Magallanes. The 17-year-old prospect went 1-for-3 with a double, and he also laid down a sacrifice bunt. He committed a fielding error as well.
Pinto's double was the Navegantes' only extra-base hit in their 4-3 victory over Lara.
La Guaira lefty specialist Joe Ortiz suffered his second loss in as many appearances. Ortiz was tagged for two runs on two hits in one-third of an inning. He struck out one.
With Santiago Chirino and Tomas Telis in the lineup, Caracas improved to 5-0 on the young season with a 9-2 victory. Chirino, batting leadoff, had a single and an RBI in five at-bats. Telis went 2-for-4 with a double.
Chirino got the start at shortstop, a position he hasn't played professionally since 2009, when he appeared in six games there with short-season Spokane. The 21-year-old infielder doesn't figure to see much––if any––action at short going forward in the States. At High-A Myrtle Beach this season, he played 63 games at second base, 20 at third, and 18 in the outfield.
Caimanes leadoff man and left fielder Diego Cedeno went 1-for-4, committed an error, and was caught stealing.
Elio Castillo, playing third base for the Magallanes club, had a single and a walk in four plate appearances. The versatile 18-year-old infielder recently completed his second season with the Dominican Summer League Rangers, where he batted .272/.391/.341 in 65 contests.
Jhonny Gomez played at first base and went 0-for-4 with a run-scoring groundout.
La Guaira third baseman Alex Gonzalez had two singles and a walk in five trips. Gonzalez, Cedeno, and Chirino all batted leadoff for their respective clubs.
Jose Felix got the start behind the plate in game two of Guasave's doubleheader and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a run scored.
Qualification for the 2013 World Baseball Classic began on September 19, when two of the four qualifying round groups were played. Spain and Canada each won their respective group and earned a spot in next year's Classic.
The Spanish and Canadian squads each feature one Rangers prospect. For Spain, it's outfielder Engel Beltre, who was actually born in the Dominican Republic and lived in the United States for a period while growing up. Regardless, Beltre is eligible to play for the Spanish side. Playing as the club's leadoff hitter and centerfielder, the 22-year-old prospect went 6-for-16 (.375) with a triple in four games. He also drew four walks, was hit by a pitch, and stole three bases.
Rangers catching prospect Kellin Deglan is the youngest player on Team Canada's squad by two and a half years. Working as the club's backup catcher, Deglan appeared in one game as a defensive replacement but didn't get a plate appearance.
Left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier made two appearances for Israel, who finished as runners-up to Spain in Qualifier 1. Bleier tossed one hitless, scoreless inning between the two games, working around a pair of walks.
In other international baseball news involving Rangers prospects, infielder Nick Urbanus recently competed in the 2012 European Baseball Championship. Although Urbanus played well, his Dutch side fell to Italy in the title game. But over nine games, Urbanus was 11-for-28 (.393) at the plate with a double, two triples, three walks, and eight runs batted in. He saw time at second base, shortstop, and third base during the tournament.
Begins November 8.
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