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Acuna, Naylor ignite Peoria's explosive offense

MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Peoria's prospect-packed offense was at it again on Friday, as Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna launched a pair of homers and San Diego's slugging first-base prospect Josh Naylor added another to lead the Javelinas to an Arizona Fall League-best ninth win in 15 games, 9-8 over Salt River.

The Javelinas' offense, which boasts four of the Fall League's 12 players who rank among MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects (No. 5 Acuna; No. 41 Kyle Lewis of the Mariners; No. 48 Luis Urias of the Padres; No. 92 Michael Chavis of the Red Sox), has now scored 28 runs on 34 hits over Peoria's past two games.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Peoria's prospect-packed offense was at it again on Friday, as Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna launched a pair of homers and San Diego's slugging first-base prospect Josh Naylor added another to lead the Javelinas to an Arizona Fall League-best ninth win in 15 games, 9-8 over Salt River.

The Javelinas' offense, which boasts four of the Fall League's 12 players who rank among MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects (No. 5 Acuna; No. 41 Kyle Lewis of the Mariners; No. 48 Luis Urias of the Padres; No. 92 Michael Chavis of the Red Sox), has now scored 28 runs on 34 hits over Peoria's past two games.

Acuna, MLB Pipeline's 2017 Hitter of the Year, racked up three hits for a second consecutive game, going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a double to go along with his two homers. The 19-year-old outfielder went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, a stolen base and four runs scored in Peoria's 19-4 rout of Mesa on Thursday and is slashing .366/.440/.683 through his first 12 games in the Fall League.

Embed - Twitter: Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Pretty sweet swing.Here's that homer from @Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna, a solo 💣 in the first inning. Gameday: https://t.co/b2ADxpIsMi pic.twitter.com/1IC3GB0uwo

Naylor, meanwhile, notched his sixth multi-hit effort in 11 games, racking up four hits in five at-bats, including the go-ahead homer in the bottom of the eighth after Salt River had rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh and three more in the eighth to tie the game, 8-8. The Padres' No. 10 prospect is tied with Acuna for third in the league with three homers.

Gameday

Acuna joins the Pirates' Logan Hill, the Cardinals' Andrew Knizner and the Brewers' Monte Harrison as the only players in the Fall League to have a multi-homer game through the first three weeks of play.

"I had four or five multiple-home run games [before], but it's pretty good doing it at this level where the competition is pretty good," he said.

Embed - Twitter: Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Ronald Acuna 🔥 in @MLBazFallLeague. 2nd 🚀 of the day & 3rd in 3 G for @Braves phenom. Past 2 days: 6-8, 2 2B, 2 HR. https://t.co/b2ADxpIsMi pic.twitter.com/7lCY6YZ75A

Acuna hit both of his homers to center field on 0-2 counts.

"I'm not going to change my game," Acuna said. "I'm an aggressive player. I'm always looking forward to getting an extra base and that's how I am. I'm going to continue doing that."

The Braves' Fall League contingent has made quite an impact through the first three weeks of the season. Austin Riley, Atlanta's No. 10 prospect, starred in Peoria's 19-run outburst on Thursday, hitting for the cycle and driving in five runs. He's slashing .346/.393/.731 in six games. And no one has been hotter in the early going than Braves No. 16 prospect Alex Jackson, who leads the league in home runs (five), total bases (32), slugging percentage (.780) and OPS (1.180). He drove in his 11th run in 10 games with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to stake Peoria to an 8-1 lead.

Video: Austin Riley on hitting for the cycle in Fall League

The Javelinas, not suprisingly, lead the AFL in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.304), OPS (.876), home runs (20) and runs scored (102).

Naylor is second on the team with a .378 average and has driven in multiple runs in five of his past 10 games. The 2015 No. 12 overall Draft pick also collected his fourth double of the Fall League season and has seven extra-base hits in 45 at-bats.

The Javelinas got a strong start from Blue Jays right-hander T.J. Zeuch, who allowed one run on four hits and two walks over five innings while striking out three. Toronto's No. 5 prospect has a 0.69 ERA and matching 0.69 WHIP over three Fall League starts.

Art Warren (Mariners) picked up the win in relief, tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings, while Keegan Akin (Orioles) took the loss for Salt River.

Corey Ray led Salt River's offense with a pair of doubles and three runs scored in a 3-for-4 performance. The Brewers' No. 2 prospect (MLB No. 58) is off to a slow start, hitting .182 through his first 12 games.

The Rafters are now 6-8, 1 1/2 games behind division-leading Mesa in the AFL West. Peoria (9-6) and Salt River meet again on Saturday, with Atlanta's Max Fried (2-0, 0.69 ERA) facing Orioles No. 6 prospect Tanner Scott (0-1, 6.75 ERA).

Brittany Bowyer is a graduate journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.