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Haniger's homer leads rout of Desert Dogs

O's prospect Berry tosses four scoreless frames while allowing just three hits

While Mitch Haniger, the Brewers' No. 12 prospect, may be just 10 games into the Arizona Fall League season, he's already made his presence felt in the middle of Surprise's lineup.

That was never more obvious than in Saturday's 7-0 win over Glendale. Haniger, who was recently honored as Co-Player of the Week, belted a three-run shot in the top of the first inning, allowing Surprise to cruise to an easy victory.

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What made the center fielder's at-bat against starter Trevor May even more impressive was his ability to battle back from an 0-2 hole.

"I was really able to see all of the pitches he had in that at-bat and really work the count before hitting the home run," said Haniger.

In just 33 at-bats so far this season, he is hitting .394 with two home runs and 12 RBIs, a staggering pace for this early in the season.

"I'm feeling really good about how I'm swinging the bat right now. Any time you are in this zone, you see the ball better," Haniger said. "I know for me, everything seems slower."

Spending the regular season in the Brewers' farm system between Class A Wisconsin and Advanced-A Brevard County, Haniger hit .264 with 11 home runs and 68 RBIs in 129 games.

Haniger finished Saturday's game going 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored, a line that shows his patient approach at the plate this season, something he has made a conscious effort to improve upon.

"I have really just been trying to keep it simple," Haniger said. "I've been getting reps in and staying focused, but not thinking too much when I am up at the plate."

Haniger's said he's also worked overtime in the batting cage to have a shorter, more compact swing.

"That's been a big focus for me and something that I think has really paid off," said Haniger.

Haniger's home run was just the beginning for the Saguaros. They tacked on two more runs in the third behind an RBI single from Adam Weisenburger, who played with Double-A Huntsville in the Brewers' system during the regular season. After another run in the fourth, Weisenburger had an RBI groundout in the seventh to expand the lead to seven runs.

All of that offense was more than enough for a Surprise pitching staff that surrendered just three hits on the night.

Orioles' left-handed pitching prospect Tim Berry went four innings and allowed three hits, while four relievers allowed no hits in five frames.

"Our pitching staff tonight was great. They all had amazing command and were able to keep the hitters off balance," Haniger said. "That is the best game I have seen them pitch so far this season."

Quinn Robertsis a reporter for

Glendale Desert Dogs, Surprise Saguaros, Tim Berry, Mitch Haniger