Samad Taylor is starting to heat up in the Arizona Fall League with homers in two of his last three games:
Taylor wasted no time getting going by homering on the first pitch he saw from Dodgers right-hander Emmet Sheehan, depositing it 397 feet away and into the left-field bullpen. The three-run dinger, which gave the Saguaros a 6-0 early lead in the first inning, was the right-handed slugger’s second in his last three games and second in the AFL at large through 13 games.
“I just tried to change my plan and get back to hunting first-pitch heaters,” he said. “He threw a first-pitch heater. I put a good swing on it, and it went over.”
That could have set the tone for the evening, but Taylor chose a different tact for his second at-bat in the third frame. Noticing that White Sox left-hander Sammy Peralta was on the mound and Brewers first baseman Zavier Warren was back, the Surprise No. 8 hitter laid down a perfect bunt up the first-base line and used his plus speed to reach safely. Those wheels came into play again when Taylor swiped both second and third base after that infield single.
The automated ball-strike system being used in the AFL is proving quite popular among players:
“I think they’ve done a great job with it,” Black said. “I had no experience with it, but so far I love it. I think the biggest thing is they do it quick and efficiently. It’s kind of cool how they put it on the video board, like tennis. I think it could be great for crowd engagement and stuff like that.”
“It’s cool, man,” said Cardinals top prospect Jordan Walker, who plays for the Salt River Rafters. “If you think that the umpire was wrong, you can check it. I think it’s a really good addition to what we have as of right now.”
“It’s a lot of fun with the pitch challenge,” Red Sox infielder Nick Yorke added. “It gets everyone into it after someone challenges. Everyone is like, ‘Ooooh,’ after they see the pitch. I think it’s been pretty fun. So I’m a fan of it.”
The roster trimming has begun:
RHP Ryan Weiss has cleared outright waivers and has been assigned outright to Omaha (AAA).— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) October 26, 2022
RHP Luke Weaver has been claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners.
RHP Tyler Zuber has been claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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