10/15/11 8:01 PM ET
Mets' Marte makes first AFL homer a big one
Third base prospect hits go-ahead two-run blast in eighth inning
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
The Mets' No. 10 prospect slugged his first fall homer Saturday afternoon as the Peoria Javelinas held on for an 8-7 victory over the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Serving as the Javelinas' designated hitter, Marte snapped an eighth-inning tie with a two-run blast -- his second extra-base hit in seven AFL games. Peoria hitting coach Alonzo Powell said it's only a matter of time before the 20-year-old gets back on track.
"He's a young kid with a lot of potential with pretty good strength and good bat speed," Powell explained. "He's a lot like the other kids here, he just needs a little fine-tuning. There was not really an adjustment in his swing. He had a pitch to hit in his at-bat before and he popped it up in the infield. The next time, he got a pitch he could handle."
Marte, a native of the Dominican Republic, was hitless and struck out twice in his first three at-bats before coming up with one on and out out in the eighth. After taking Pat Lehman's slider for ball one, he pulled the next pitch over the left-center field fence.
"He got a 1-0 fastball up in the zone and he put a good swing on it to left-center field," said Powell, a former Major League outfielder. "He's been swinging the bat well and he came through with a big hit for us today. I see a kid that has got really good bat speed and gap-to-gap power. He just needs to be more confident."
A Futures Game selection this summer, Marte was not the only Mets prospect to deliver a big hit for Peoria (6-5). Center fielder Juan Lagares went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second. He's batting .389 (7-for-18) with four RBIs in four games as one of two players on the Javelinas' taxi squad.
"Juan came through with two strikes," Powell noted. "He got a fastball up in the zone, too, and hit it into the bullpen. He is a five-tool type of player and he plays a real good center field. He has a lot of potential.
"We make sure we try to get him in there on Wednesdays and Saturdays. He's done a good job and he's been working hard. It is difficult for [Lagares and Zelous Wheeler]. Everybody else is playing every day, and if you're playing every day and have a bad game, you can make up for it quickly. They're in a difficult situation and they understand that. When they do play, they make the most of it."
Wheeler, a Brewers prospect who hit .272 in 82 games between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville this season, was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Mariners top prospect Nick Franklin also had two hits, drove in two runs and scored once.
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford went 3-for-5 with an RBI to raise his average to .360 for Scottsdale, while Angels outfielder Mike Trout -- MLB.com's No. 1 prospect -- chipped in two hits.
Cardinals right-hander Keith Butler (1-1) tossed a hitless inning for the win and Padres prospect Miles Mikolas picked up his first save, despite allowing a run on three hits in the ninth.
Lehman (0-1), who pitched at two levels in the Nationals system, was charged with two runs -- one earned -- on two hits and a walk while fanning two over two innings.
Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.