Cameron's first AFL home run lifts Mesa to win

November 8th, 2018

MESA, Ariz. -- As the Arizona Fall League winds down, Daz Cameron is finding his power stroke.
The Tigers' No. 8 prospect connected on his first Fall League home run as part of a three-hit performance on Wednesday as Mesa defeated Glendale, 6-4, at Sloan Park.
After lining out to center field on the first pitch of his first at-bat, Cameron fell behind, 0-2, against Desert Dogs starter Tanner Banks before working the count full and fouling off a pair of tough pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, the 21-year-old outfielder deposited the ball over the wall in center field for a two-run home run.
"Oh, man. ... It felt great, felt amazing," Cameron said. "Just to get the head out there on a curveball and get extended through it.
"At first I didn't know if I got it," he admitted. "It's nighttime in a deep ballpark, deep to center. It felt good."
2018 Arizona Fall League rosters
Cameron picked up his second hit in his next trip to the plate, when he laced a line-drive single to center field on an 0-2 pitch from left-hander Rob Kaminsky in the fourth. He advanced to second on Nico Hoerner's groundout, then scored on Esteban Quiroz's opposite-field single, extending Mesa's early lead to 6-1.
In his final at-bat, Cameron showed off his wheels as he legged out an infield single in the sixth for his third hit of the game.
"My goal is to go up there and have a quality at-bat, no matter what the outcome is. I just try to go up there with confidence, try to get a good pitch to hit and barrel [it]," said Cameron, who collected two runs scored and two RBIs out of the leadoff spot for the Solar Sox.
The three-hit performance was Cameron's third in his last 10 games -- a stretch during which he owns a .405/.532/.622 batting line. Overall, Cameron has produced a .333/.444/.483 line, with 14 runs scored and seven steals, in 16 games for Mesa.
Cameron's strong showing in the Fall League follows a breakout regular season -- his first full season with the Tigers after they acquired him from the Astros in the August 2017 blockbuster deal -- during which he played at three levels, including Triple-A Toledo.
Cameron batted .264/.343/.406 with 42 extra-base hits (eight homers, nine triples and 25 doubles) and 24 steals in 126 games between Class A Advanced Lakeland, Double-A Erie and Toledo.
"I think in Triple-A I got a lot of experience just being around the game and learning different things from different guys -- how to go about the game and stuff like that," Cameron said. "To go up there with a plan is the most important part, and that's what I've been able to do."
Red Sox No. 10 prospect Josh Ockimey also hit his first AFL homer, as he connected on a two-run shot in the first inning after Bobby Dalbec (Boston's No. 6) had put the Solar Sox on the board with an RBI single. Quiroz, a second baseman in Boston's system, also swung the bat well for Mesa, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the victory.
Solar Sox starter (Angels' No. 12) tossed four innings of one-run ball to pick up his second AFL win. He allowed four hits, struck out three and walked a pair. Left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez (Red Sox's No. 7) registered his first Fall League save after notching three strikeouts over the final 1 1/3 frames.
A trio of Desert Dogs homered in the game, with Jared Walker, Luis Robert and Martin Cervenka each delivering a solo shot.
Robert's homer in the sixth inning was particularly impressive, as the White Sox No. 4 prospect (No. 44 overall) turned around a 1-1 offering for a tape-measure blast to straightaway left field.
The 21-year-old outfielder has homered twice in his last six games after failing to go deep in 50 games across three levels during the Minor League season.
Robert, who is hitting .358, extended his hitting streak to 13 games, tying with him Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the longest streak in this year's Fall League.