The Surprise Rafters are sitting at the bottom of the AFL standings, with a record of 4-13. The Rafters pitchers continue to get knocked around, and its not just the Indians prospects who are struggling. On a more positive note, both Beau Mills and Wes Hodges participated in the AFL "Rising Stars" game this past Friday, and both played well in the exciting victory for the AFL's National Division. The National squad trailed 5-1 going into the bottom of the 8th when Beau Mills hit a one out single that was followed up by a Hodges walk, his 2nd of the game. Both players would eventually score, and by the end of the 8th inning the National Division led 6-5. The American Division got one back in the 9th to tie the game, which set up our future Indians with another opportunity to contribute. They did not disappoint, as Mills singled with one on and none out, and Hodges was very nearly the game's hero as he followed up the Mills single with one of his own. Unfortunately the runner on 2nd base was Toronto's catching prospect JP Arencibia. Arencibia should be a great hitter in the bigs someday, but Kenny Lofton on the bases he is not. Arencibia was thrown out at the plate, but it didn't matter as the American Division walked in Beau Mills with the winning run two batters later. So Mills ended the day 2-3 with 2 singles and 2 runs scored (including the winning run) and Hodges finished 1-3 with 2 walks and a run scored. Mills did make an error at 1B in the 7th as well.
Some notes from the Tribe prospects in the AFL:
Wes Hodges continues to pound AFL pitching; his .681 slugging percentage is in the top-5 in the league. For the season thus far, Hodges is sitting at an impressive line of .362/4/13, and his OPS is 1.069...Beau Mills now has 2 HR in the AFL, but still just 3 RBI; his OPS is at .926 as he is adding some pop to his plate discipline...Josh Rodriguez continues to struggle at the plate; he had a hit and an RBI in his last game, but is still at just .143 in the AFL...Stephen Head is still playing well in limited opportunities, and the big lefty is slugging .750 against RHP...Chuck Lofgren had his best outing of the season yesterday, striking out two and giving up an earned run in 1 1/3 innings; on the bright side of things for Lofgren, he has struck out 5 batters in his 5 2/3 innings...Erik Stiller threw 2 shutout innings last Thursday, giving up just one hit and striking out one...Josh Tomlin was roughed up in his most recent appearance this past Saturday, giving up 4 ER in 1 IP; Tomlin has cooled off a bit after a great start to his AFL campaign...Neil Wagner had held opposing batters to a .192 average in his 7 IP before yesterday; Wags did give up 2 ER in 1 IP against a hot-hitting Phoenix Desert Dogs squad