19 Oct

razing arizona

The challenge of the Arizona Fall League appears to have brought out the best in Matt Wallner. The former Southern Miss standout, the school’s career home run leader, is off to a scorching start in the desert with six hits in his first 16 at-bats. The lefty-hitting outfielder, a top prospect in Minnesota’s system, went 3-for-5 Monday with his second home run in Scottsdale’s 7-6 loss to Salt River. Wallner batted .265 with 15 homers and 47 RBIs in High-A ball this season, his second as a pro. He spent a chunk of time on the injured list. MLB Pipeline projects the Twins’ No. 14 prospect could make the big leagues next season, which he’ll likely start in Double-A. … Salt River’s leadoff batter in Monday’s game was Joe Gray, Jr., the ex-Hattiesburg High star and a Milwaukee prospect. He is off to a sluggish start in the prospect-filled AFL, batting .071 after an 0-for-5. … Mississippi State product Justin Foscue, a Texas farmhand, hit his first homer of the fall in Surprise’s 5-3 victory against Peoria. Foscue is batting .364 on the heels of a big first pro summer that saw him reach Double-A. … Peoria’s starting pitcher was Ole Miss alum James McArthur, who worked four innings and yielded one run (not Foscue’s homer) with six strikeouts. McArthur is in his fourth year in Philadelphia’s chain.