Marisnick learning from Fall League experience
Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect collects two hits, plates run as Salt River topples Phoenix
For Toronto prospect Jake Marisnick, box scores and stat lines can be misleading. In his mind, doing the fundamental things like running the bases well and taking good routes to balls in the outfield can help his team just as much as crushing a ball 400 feet.
The Blue Jays center fielder went 2-for-4 with an RBI as the Salt River Rafters beat the Phoenix Desert Dogs, 9-2, on Monday. But that in isolation does not tell all of the story.
Toronto's No. 2 prospect, behind catcher Travis d'Arnaud, is now batting .250 with two RBIs in 11 AFL contests.
"It is huge just doing things for the team to help us win," he said. "It's good when I'm able to do a little bit of everything, like running down balls. It doesn't always show up on the stat sheet, but it can be the difference in the game.
"It wasn't close today so these things didn't affect it too much, but in a tight game it is very important. I like to be polished in these areas, so I work hard."
Selected by the Blue Jays in the third round of the 2009 Draft, Marisnick beat out an infield single to third base in the third inning before plating Lars Davis with a two-out RBI single in the fourth.
"The guys in front of me did a good job of getting on base, the [Davis] double and the [Kevin Pillar] walk," Marisnick said. "I got a first-pitch fastball then I took a curveball in the dirt. I got another curveball that I saw really well and stayed back on and I hit it to left field."
Marisnick also dropped down a sacrifice bunt in the seventh frame and flied out to center field in the eighth and ninth. In the field, he recorded five putouts.
Now in his third year of pro ball, Marisnick made his way to Double-A New Hampshire this season. After hitting .320 with 14 homers and 77 RBIs -- all career highs -- with Lansing a year ago, the 21-year-old outfielder was promoted to Class A Advanced Dunedin to begin 2012.
Marisnick batted .263 with six longballs and 35 RBIs in 65 Florida State League games, and he hit .233 with two more homers and 15 RBIs following a callup to the Eastern League in early July.
"It is a big honor just to look around and see the talent on the field on both sides of the ball," he said. "The big thing is the control that these pitchers have. They have really good stuff or else they wouldn't be here, but they also have a plan and they know what they're trying to do.
"But we have a great group of guys here on this team. We've only been playing together a couple weeks, but the camaraderie is better than on a lot of teams I've played on."
On Monday, Salt River's designated hitter Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays) was 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, Colorado third-rounder Davis was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a walk and a run and fellow Rockies farmhand Kent Matthes collected a pair of hits -- including a solo homer -- two RBIs and three runs scored out of the cleanup spot.
That offense provided more than enough support for starting pitcher Ryan Perry (1-0), a first-round pick of the Tigers in 2008 now with the Nationals. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed one hit while striking out three batters over five scoreless innings.
"He was awesome," Marisnick said of Perry. "He was mixing his pitches and hitting his spots. He was definitely doing his thing and working at a good pace. You can't ask for a much better start than that. It was fun to play behind him."
Phoenix shortstop Hak-Ju Lee (Rays) was 2-for-4 and Brewers first baseman Hunter Morris doubled home a pair of runs in the losing effort. Dogs starter Brian Flynn (Marlins) fell to 0-3 after yielding a run on two hits. He struck out four batters over three frames in the losing effort.
Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.