Sardinas homers, drives in four in AFL slugfest

Sardinas homers, drives in four in AFL slugfest

Sardinas homers, drives in four in AFL slugfest
It can't be easy being a 19-year-old, foreign-born shortstop in the Rangers system if your name isn't Jurickson Profar. But Luis Sardinas is making it look that way, at least in the Arizona Fall League.

The Rangers' No. 7 prospect hit his first AFL homer and drove in four runs Saturday afternoon, powering the Surprise Saguaros to a 16-10 triumph over the struggling Mesa Solar Sox.

Batting leadoff and playing short, Sardinas delivered a two-run single in the first inning and a two-run blast in the second. The Saguaros scored seven times in each frame to build a 14-4 lead.

Sardinas, off to a 6-for-16 start in Arizona, was signed out of Venezuela in 2009 -- about the same time Profar -- Texas' top prospect -- left his home in Curacao to join the Rangers organization. Injuries, including surgery on both shoulders, limited Sardinas to 40 games between the 2010-11 Minor League seasons.

In 96 games this year for Class A Hickory in the South Atlantic League, the switch-hitter batted .291 with 18 extra-base hits, 30 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. He played 14 games at second base but seems destined to stick at short.

While Sardinas provided a spark at the top of the lineup, the Saguaros also got contributions from the bottom: Dustin Lawley (Mets), Whit Merrifield (Royals) and Mike O'Neill (Cardinals) combined to go 7-for-14 with seven RBIs and six runs scored.

Another elite shortstop prospect, the Cubs' Javier Baez, also went yard Saturday. His three-run shot for the Solar Sox was his third homer in nine Fall League games.

Saguaros starter Justin Marks (2-0) was credited with the win, despite giving up five runs -- two earned -- on six hits over 2 1/3 innings. The Royals left-hander struck out one batter and walked two.

Solar Sox righty Jarred Cosart (0-2) was charged with seven runs -- three earned -- on four hits, exiting with two outs in the opening inning. The Astros' No. 4 prospect walked three, fanned one and remains in search of his first win after three AFL outings.

Seven errors, including a pair by Baez at shortstop, led to eight unearned runs.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to and writes the Prospective Blog. Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.