Ward's big day lifts Scottsdale in Fall League opener

Angels' No. 3 prospect goes 2-for-2 with three RBIs, 2013 Draftee Hermosillo sparks offense

Ward's big day lifts Scottsdale in Fall League opener

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Taylor Ward ended the regular season on a six-game hitting streak and it appears he carried that momentum over to the Arizona Fall League.

The Angels' No. 3 prospect led Scottsdale to a 9-6 win over Glendale in the opening game of the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch.

Ward, who hit .249 with 56 RBIs in 123 games for Class A Advanced Inland Empire this season, finished 2-for-2 with two doubles and three RBIs.

"Kind of like riding a bike actually," Ward said. "I didn't take that much time off, went to instructs, was able to take some at-bats with those guys in Tempe. We had some live BP here before we started and I just picked up where I left off."

The catcher doubled and scored in the second, then highlighted a three-run third with a two-run double to left.

Ward's Angels teammate Michael Hermosillo provided a spark at the top of the lineup, as well. The 2013 28th-round pick went 2-for-3 with a single, double and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot for Scottsdale.

Hermosillo, who was born in nearby Mesa, Ariz., had his best offensive campaign during the 2016 regular season, hitting .317/.402/.467 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases between Class A Burlington and Class A Advanced Inland Empire.

Tim Tebow, also a member of the Scottsdale squad, went 0-for-3 in his AFL debut and caught a routine fly in left.

Mets' No. 3 prospect Gavin Cecchini put Scottsdale on the board in the first inning with an RBI single, jumpstarting a big day for both him and the Scottsdale offense, as the club finished with nine runs on 10 hits.

"We took a lot of live AB's, a lot of our pitchers threw [to us] and being on a team with guys constantly hitting, when you constantly have guys in scoring position, guys on base, it's a lot of fun," Ward said.

After driving in 55 runs in 117 games with Triple-A Las Vegas, Cecchini went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, a walk and a run scored. The Yankees' Greg Bird, who missed the entire 2016 season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, also got off to a strong start with an RBI double in his second at-bat.

Glendale pulled within one in the third as Cardinals' No. 11 prospect Carson Kelly flashed some power with a three-run homer off of Yankees' No. 10 prospect Dillon Tate. Kelly hit just six homers in 106 games this season, but needed just two at-bats to go deep for the first time in the Fall League.

Kelly hit .326 against right-handers in 89 at-bats with Triple-A Memphis this season and continued that trend on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, a walk and a run scored against three right-handers.

 

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.