Mariners shortstop prospect Nick Franklin stole the show in Saturday night’s Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, finishing 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and four RBI as the West beat the East 11-2.
The switch-hitting Franklin, considered a Top 50 prospect by most ranking services, also scored three runs. He homered in the first inning off the No. 1 overall pick from June’s first-year player draft, Gerrit Cole, then added doubles in the second and third. Franklin also singled in the fifth.
Cole, a hard-throwing righty now in the Pirates’ system, didn’t make it out of the first inning. He displayed elite velocity, hitting 99 mph at one point, but was charged with five runs on four hits and also walked a batter.
Nationals outfield prospect Bryce Harper went 0-for-2, Royals outfield prospect Wil Myers was 3-for-5 and Cubs infield prospect Junior Lake was 1-for-3 with two strikeouts. For more, check MiLB.com.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.