If you’re still searching for a baseball fix during these long, chilly fall days, there will be some on Saturday, albeit minor leaguers. The Arizona Fall League championship between the Salt River Rafters and Peoria Javelinas will be televised live on MLB Network (and on MLB.com) at 3 p.m.
The Salt River Rafters feature Nationals prospects, and reliever-turned-starter Ryan Perry is slated to start the single-elimination title game between the winners of the league’s two divisions. Perry pitched briefly out of the Nationals bullpen this season before being sent down to Class AA Harrisburg to become a starter, a move he relished. He is 2-0 with a 4.98 ERA (12 earned runs over 21 1/3 innings) with 26 strikeouts and eight walks in the offseason league.
Other players to look out for are third baseman Matt Skole, the Nationals 2012 Minor League Player of the Year who leads the team with an .944 OPS, good for eighth in the league, and infielder Anthony Rendon who is second with a .930 OPS. Leadoff hitter Brian Goodwin is hitting .238 but has a .340 on-base percentage and .475 slugging percentage with a three home runs, tied for second on the team. Reliever Aaron Barrett has a 3.27 ERA (four earned runs in 11 innings) with 10 strikeouts. (For full statistics, click here.)
The Peoria Javelinas is comprised of prospects from the Reds, Twins, Phillies, Padres and Mariners. (Yes, Reds’ super base-stealing prospect Billy Hamilton is on the team.) The Salt River Rafters are made up of players from the Diamondbacks, White Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays and Nationals.