The first week in the 2008 Arizona Fall League is officially in the books and after five games, our team is in first place in the American Division with a 5-0 record. Our success can be attributed to both quality pitching and good hitting. We enter Week 2 with the best team ERA (2.80), the most runs scored (40) and are second in batting average. I know it takes a while for a group of players from different organizations to learn to play together, but we have really come together in a short amount of time and I am already very excited about this team.
We had our first game on Tuesday night at Scottsdale Stadium against the Scottsdale Scorpions. We won the game 9-3 and I hit a solo home run in my first AB – definitely nice that are team started with a win and I was happy to get the first home run under my belt. I played three games in our first week and felt good about my contribution to our team’s early success. It is a little different not playing every day, but it is understandable with the amount of talent that we have on our roster. Even on days when I know that I am not going to play, I come to the ballpark with the same mentality. Each day is an opportunity to get better and I approach my work – batting practice, infield, etc. – with the same mentality regardless of whether my name is penciled into the lineup.
We have completed one week of games out here, but I can definitely say that I am a big fan of the Arizona Fall League. There is a tremendous amount of talent out here and I am grateful for the opportunity play the game against such quality competition. I was somewhat familiar with the AFL because one of my older brothers, Royce, played for the Scottsdale Scorpions in 2004 when he was a member of the Houston Astros organization. He has given me valuable insight on what to expect and tips on how to go about my business so that I can maximize this experience. I was amazed when he told me that his team in 2004 included players such as Russell Martin (C/LAD), James Loney (1B/LAD), Carlos Quentin (OF/CWS), Conor Jackson (IF-OF/ARI), Willy Tavares (OF/COL) and Rickie Weeks (2B/MIL). I will write more about the positive impact Royce and the rest of my family have had on my baseball career in a later blog entry.
Thanks again for your support and I appreciate your comments.