Giambrone leads fellow Cubs on offensive strike in AFL

October 27th, 2018

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Trent Giambrone and a host of Chicago Cubs hitters provided much of the offense for Mesa on Friday in a game that saw the Solar Sox squander a seven-run lead and ultimately lose to Glendale, 9-8, on Luis Robert's walk-off single in the 11th inning.
Giambrone, the Cubs' No. 29 prospect, hit a two-run home run in the third inning, then added an RBI double in the following frame before finishing 3-for-6 with three RBIs in the extra-inning affair.
The home run was Giambrone's second in this year's Fall League, both launched in his past three games. Overall, the 24-year-old infielder, who batted third and started at second base for Mesa on Friday, has hit .435 with five RBIs in five games.
"I'm just taking it one pitch at a time, trying to make the most of each opportunity I get to play. I'm not worrying about the whole game and everything else that's going on … just really locking in on each pitch," said Giambrone.
After popping up in his first trip to the plate, Giambrone turned on Glendale starter Jordan Foley's 1-2 pitch and deposited well over the left-field wall to extend Mesa's early lead.
"Coming up to that pitch I got two borderline calls -- that I thought both were balls -- down in the zone. He came [inside] first at-bat and that's what I popped up on, and he tried to come back in and I put a good swing on it, got it out of here," said Giambrone. 

Giambrone took advantage of a more favorable count in his next at-bat, as he roped a 2-1 offering into left field for his first Fall League double. And after a groundout to third base followed by a strikeout in his next two at-bats, Giambrone picked up his third hit of the contest via an infield single to second base.
A 25th-round selection in the 2016 Draft out of Delta State, Giambrone made steady progress during his first two professional seasons before breaking out in earnest this season with Double-A Tennessee. Playing in 116 games in the Southern League, he produced a .251/.333/.440 line and set career highs with 17 home runs and 26 stolen bases.
Giambrone's success against advanced competition has helped him make a smooth transition into the Fall League.
"After having my first full season under my belt, it was realizing what the grind is like and how you have to go and prepare every day," he said. "Most importantly, learning who I am as a player, on and off the field…I feel like that's the biggest step I've taken this fall."
Mesa shortstop Nico Hoerner, the Cubs' No. 6 prospect, also had a big game, going 4-for-5 with four singles to improve his AFL average to .373. The 2018 first-round pick out of Stanford has looked anything but overmatched this fall despite his lack of pro experience.
"He's a good guy, first off, and a good teammate. He fits right in…good vibes from him, for sure," said Giambrone about his middle-infield counterpart.
White Sox No. 4 prospect Luis Robert (No. 44 overall) came through with the walk-off hit for Glendale to finish off a 2-for-6 day. He's hitting .300 with nine runs scored in the Fall League and has at least one hit in each of the seven games he's played. 

Indians No. 6 prospectYu Chang also swung the bat well, tallying a pair of hits including a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth to help force extra innings. The 23-year-old infielder sports a .364 average through 12 games on this fall season after posting five multi-hit performance in six games for the Desert Dogs.