Pages strikes in key moment for Desert Dogs

November 10th, 2022

MESA, Ariz. -- features some of the best raw power in the Arizona Fall League. He used it to deliver the most important home run of the season thus far.

Pages crushed a two-run homer in the eighth inning Wednesday, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead. The fifth-ranked Dodgers prospect singled in another run later in the frame, capping a seven-run outburst by the Glendale Desert Dogs. The 10-4 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox improved Glendale's record to 14-14-1 and clinched a spot in Friday's play-in game.

"We all definitely want to make it to the playoffs," Pages said through translator Annalee Ramirez. "Even though it's a developmental league, there are so many talented players and prospects here. To hit that home run and help my team, I'm excited."

The winner of Friday's play-in game will face the Surprise Saguaros in Saturday's championship contest. Mesa (13-14-2) can advance to the play-in with a win over the Peoria Javelinas (13-14-1) in the regular-season finale Thursday.

Ranked No. 66 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list, Pages signed for $300,000 in October 2017 after leaving Cuba. The Dodgers right fielder has led his league in extra-base hits in each of his three full seasons in the United States, though his batting line dipped to a career-low .236/.336/.468 in Double-A this year.

Young for that level at age 21, Pages creates tremendous bat speed leverage with his right-handed stroke, but he knows he needs to refine his plate discipline. That has been his focus in the Fall League, where he's hitting .296/.398/.506 with five homers in 22 games. He has struck out in just 12 percent of his plate appearances, down from 25 percent in Double-A.

"I've been mainly working on my approach," Pages said. "It's finding the right pitch, getting the one that I want and going for it. I'm definitely taking advantage of this being the Fall League versus the Minor Leagues. I'm taking my time and looking for my pitches."

Left fielder (CIN 18) and center fielder (LAD 8) also homered for the Desert Dogs, while center fielder (TB 12) went deep for the Solar Sox. Glendale designated hitter (MIN 14) went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs, improving his AFL line to .400/.563/.686. He leads the Fall League in on-base percentage, OPS (1.249), runs (24) and walks (23).