The Salt River Rafters and the Scottsdale Scorpions played in the Arizona Fall League on Saturday night. Pittsburgh Pirates prospects Jase Bowen (RF), Jack Brannigan (SS), and Carter Bins (DH) were in Salt River’s lineup.
In addition, Pirates prospects J.C. Flowers and Tyler Samaniego pitched in relief for Salt River. It was a tightly played affair with very few runs scored.
Eventually, Scottsdale scored a late run in the top of the eighth, giving the Scorpions a 3-2 victory over Salt River. In addition, Salt River is now on a four-game losing streak.
Salt River will have a chance to take a day off on Sunday and get back into the win column on Monday and get above .500.
The Ohio native was Salt River’s lead-off man Saturday night, and he made the only impactful play offensively for the Rafters. Bowen had a runner on first with one out in the bottom of the third inning.
Facing right-handed pitcher Davis Daniel (Los Angeles Angels prospect who pitched 12.1 innings in MLB in 2023), Bowen received a four-seam fastball well above the zone.
Bowen must’ve liked the pitch as he swung and drove the pitch 424 ft for his third AFL homer of the season. In addition, Bowen’s exit velocity on the homer was 106.8 mph.
Unfortunately for Bowen, it was his only hit of the evening as he went 1-4 with two RBIs and a strikeout.
Brannigan struggled Saturday night, but he did draw a walk. The one good thing we can take from Brannigan’s time in the AFL is his solid play at shortstop.
Brannigan’s consistency at a premium position is extremely advantageous for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. If the Notre Dame product can cut down on the strikeouts and maintain power, they may have a very solid player.
Brannigan finished the night going 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
Bins was the only other Salt River player to hit an extra-base hit Saturday night. In the bottom of the second, Bins faced Daniel. Just like Bowen, Bins was first pitch swinging.
Bins received a hanging slider left in the middle third of the plate, and he didn’t miss. Bins’ double clocked in at 103.2 mph off the bat and traveled 396 ft with an xBA of .830.
In addition, Bins’ double would’ve been a home run in 18 out of 30 ballparks.
Flowers struggled with control when he was inserted into the game in the seventh inning. The first two batters Flowers faced, he threw eight balls to one strike.
Flowers then got Caleb Ricketts to pop out, and he struck out Jeremy Rivas the following at-bat. To make things interesting, he walked Carter Howell on four pitches to walk the bases loaded.
Flowers got Victor Scott II to fly out to center field to tightrope out of the inning. Flower’s final line read 1.0 innings pitched, no hits, no runs, three walks, and one strikeout.
Someone has to take the loss in every game, and unfortunately for Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Samaniego, it was his Saturday night.
In the eighth inning, Samaniego walked the first two batters and allowed two stolen bases, one of which was after a strikeout of Oliver Dunn.
Matt Kroon came up to the plate with a runner on first and third and blasted a 104.3 mph single to left field, scoring Gabriel Rincones.
Samaniego settled down and didn’t allow another run, but the damage was done as Salt River lost 3-2. The lefty’s final line read 1.0 innings pitched, one hit, one run, two walks, and a strikeout.