Monte Harrison made a splash at Surprise Stadium on Monday afternoon when he delivered a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning to blow open the game for the Salt River Rafters.It was one of three hits on the day that Harrison would collect for the Rafters. Salt
Monte Harrison made a splash at Surprise Stadium on Monday afternoon when he delivered a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning to blow open the game for the Salt River Rafters.
It was one of three hits on the day that Harrison would collect for the Rafters. Salt River led the Surprise Saguaros 5-4 before Harrison's hit, but the Marlins' No. 2 ranked prospect offered the insurance the Rafters were seeking to put the Saguaros away.
2018 Arizona Fall League rosters
Salt River tacked on one more run in the seventh, which would be their last score for the game, but it was all they needed, as they would go on to beat Surprise 8-5.
Harrison recognizes that the Fall League offers him the chance to play against some of the top prospects in baseball, but the 23-year-old remains unfazed by the talent inside the other dugout.
"If you can't create self-confidence then you can't play this game," said Harrison. "There's a lot of failure in this game. ... It's always been about, "How can I get myself ready for the game?'"
Harrison's confidence may be two-fold, because on the same day that the center fielder delivered with a big game, his Major League team delivered with a big hit of its own. The Marlins announced the signing of 22-year-old Victor Victor Mesa, the Marlins' No. 1 ranked prospect (the honor previously belonged to Harrison), and his 17-year-old brother, Victor Mesa Jr.
"The Marlins have a bright future for sure," Harrison said. "They seem like good dudes who know how to play baseball. So we're going to bring them into the organization, we're trying to make them feel like [they are] at home. We're going to try to win a championship, and that's what we preach about."
The Marlins acquired Harrison earlier this year in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, and now the organizations hopes his talent, along with the newly-minted Mesa brothers, catapults Miami to a new era of baseball.
Sam Hilliard and Josh Fuentes held their own in representing the bright potential that the Colorado Rockies farm system has to offer. Hilliard, the Rockies' No. 9-ranked prospect, went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Fuentes went 2-for-4 with a homer and matched Hilliard with two RBIs of his own.
The win came in convincing fashion for the Rafters, who got off to a hot start when they scored two runs in the first inning. For the first six innings, the Saguaros offense kept pace with the Rafters, largely due to a monstrous game from Julio Pablo Martinez. Martinez received a resounding applause from the crowd in the ninth inning, when he hit a double to complete his cycle. The 22-year-old Cuban native went 4-for-4 on the night with two RBIs.
Isaac Colindres is a senior 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.