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October 15, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Mariners prospect Nick Hill today’s starting pitcher for Peoria Javelinas

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Dustin Ackley just notched his second hit of the day, on an infield chopper, in a game that’s turned into one of those Arizona farces. The Javelinas hold a 13-9 lead in the seventh inning — outscoring the Saguaros 12-7 the last two-plus innings alone — and are threatening to add more this frame. Ackley just stole second base without drawing a throw, his first steal of the Arizona Fall League. I’m not going to do play-by-play because, frankly, I can’t keep up. Balls are flying out of here the way major leaguers head for the airport the day the season ends. This is why you can’t take AFL stats too seriously from a power perspective.
For Ackley, that’s four hits in AFL play so far, two yesterday and two today. All of them have been singles, one of them an infield hit.
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1:32 p.m.: Lots to tell you about in a game that sees the Javelinas trailing 1-0 midway through the third. Nick Hill got off to a rough start, giving up a leadoff double over the left fielder’s head to Chris Heisey and then a single to Zack Cozart that just eluded the diving shortstop. That put runners at the corners with none out. A groundout scored the run and then — with two out — Hill issued a walk to put two on. But he fought back and fanned Houston Astros prospect Jason Castro to get out of the first with just a run allowed. See it on the video below.

In the second, he gave up an infield hit to Brandon Hicks that his shortstop should have hurried a bit more on since it looked to be a routine grounder.
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But Hill then caught Hicks on a pickoff move (photo above) and the latter was easily thrown out at second. Hill got a flyout and a groundout from there, then two quick outs in the third before allowing a pair of singles to put runners at the corners. But he got Yonder Alonzo to swing over the top of a pitch and ground out to second, as seen in the photo below.
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So, a nice effort so far.
Dustin Ackley had his second at-bat, leading off the third inning, and flied out to left.
12:39 p.m.: Dustin Ackley just singled to right field, fouling off a pair of 1-2 pitches before pulling a 90 mph fastball into right. A six-pitch at-bat with a runner on first base and nobody out. Once again, Ackley showed great presence in the batter’s box. The pitcher he was facing, Mike Leake, isn’t quite the same level of guy he faced yesterday. Leake is, like Ackley, a raw rookie in pro ball, out of Arizona State.
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12:02 p.m.: The Javelinas are out on the field warming up for today’s tilt against the Peoria Saguaros, who they share the stadium complex with. As a result, the Javelinas are actually today’s visiting team.
Mariners prospect Nick Hill takes the mound. Why should you care? Well, remember some dude named Shawn Kelley, who was on the radar of just about zero fans this time 10 months ago? Well, we all know what happened with him. And I’m told that if there is to be a Kelley-like performance this spring in which an “unknown” steps in and suddenly makes the team, then Hill is the guy.
That would, in fact, make him the most likely of all Seattle’s Arizona Fall League prospects to be in the majors come April.
So, that’s why you should care.
Dustin Ackley is today’s DH, batting second. That does it for the Mariners who will participate today, barring some relief outings
The lineups:
CF Lorenzo Cain (MIL)
DH Dustin Ackley (SEA)
2B Scott Sizemore (DET)
C Lucas May (LAD)
3B Dayan Viciedo (CWS)
RF Casper Wells (DET)
1B Russ Mitchell (LAD)
LF Andrew Lambo (LAD)
SS Cale Iorg (DET)
LHP Nick Hill (SEA)
LF Chris Heisey (CIN)
2B Zack Cozart (CIN)
RF Jason Heyward (ATL)
C Matt McBride (CLE)
1B Yonder Alonso (ATL)
DH Jason Castro (HOU)
SS Brandon Hicks (ATL)
3B Carlos Rivero (CLE)
CF Cedric Hunter (SD)
RHP Mike Leake (CIN)



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