Saguaros smack three consecutive homers
Olt caps successive shots, then smacks grand slam in rout
When many of baseball's best prospects congregate in the Arizona Fall League, there aren't many shockers. But a trio of Surprise sluggers provided a jolt on Day 2.
Tim Beckham, Wil Myers and Michael Olt smacked consecutive home runs over a four-pitch span in the sixth inning of the Saguaros' 10-1 victory Wednesday over the Scorpions.
Olt, the Rangers' first-round draftee in 2010 and their No. 7 prospect, also smacked an eighth-inning grand slam. So far, he's appreciating the change in scenery from the regular season.
"Arizona is a great place to play," Olt said. "I played in Myrtle Beach, where the air is thick and the wind is howling."
Thanks to strong pitching -- six pitchers combined on a one-hitter through 8 1/3 frames -- Surprise carried a 1-0 lead into the game's most eventful inning. Beckham, the first-overall pick in the 2008 Draft and the Rays' No. 10 prospect, took new pitcher Jeremy Kehrt (Red Sox) deep to left field. Then Myers, the Royals' top prospect, struck the very next pitch to left as well.
"They were being aggressive in the count, getting the fastball," Olt said.
No wonder the 23-year-old whiffed on a first-pitch changeup before lifting an 0-1 slider over the center-field fence to complete the trio of blasts.
"I've never been a part of something like that," Olt said. "That really carried us the rest of the game. ... It's always good to start the season for on the right note."
All three batters -- the No. 2 through 4 hitters -- had an opportunity with the bases loaded in the club's five-run eighth inning. Beckham struck out, Myers smacked an RBI single and Olt delivered the big blow against reliever David Carpenter (Angels).
"I was just trying to hit the ball somewhere -- my approach was staying up the middle of field," Olt said. "I cheated a little, got a middle-in fastball."
The University of Connecticut product previously had plated five runs once and homered twice once in his pro career. He accomplished the latter Aug. 25 at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach. In 69 games with the Pelicans, Olt batted .267 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs. He also struck out 70 times.
"My goal is to see all these good arms in this league and improve my pitch recognition," said Olt, who fanned twice Wednesday, "cutting down on the strikeouts."
The pitching wasn't nearly as rocky on the Surprise side, despite being tasked with a Scottsdale lineup that featured leadoff man Gary Brown (Giants) and cleanup hitter Bryce Harper. Saguaros starter Shane Dyer (Rays) gave up only a leadoff single by Zach Walters in the third. Dyer (1-0) also plunked Brown, but faced one over the minimum in his three innings of work.
Thanks to Dyer and relievers Dan Jennings (Marlins) and Brendan Lafferty (Royals), the next 10 Scorpions were retired in order until Brown reached on shortstop Beckham's fielding error in the sixth.
Brown, the Giants' top prospect, tripled in the eighth for his club's second and final hit of the game. He scored a batter later on a groundout by Brandon Crawford (Giants).
Saguaros catcher Christian Bethancourt (Braves) singled in each of his three at-bats before departing the game after six innings.
Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.