Salt River on hot streak, in first place in Arizona Fall League

Don’t look now, but the Nationals’ entrant in the Arizona Fall League is rolling.

The Salt River Rafters have won four games in a row and have a three-game lead atop the East Division. The Rafters are 15-8, tied for the best record in the AFL with the Peoria Javelinas.

There are only seven games remaining until the league championship on Saturday, Nov. 17. Salt River faces Peoria tonight in a showdown of the two best teams, then the Rafters have a day off Thursday.

Leading the way is the Nats’ No. 2 overall prospect, shortstop Carter Kieboom, who is hitting .288 in AFL play. He is hitting .375 with 15 hits in his last 10 games. In three of those games, he had three hits. His OPS during this streak is .943.

Carter-Kieboom-Futures-Game-sidebar.jpgKieboom has played at least one game a week at second base, which is obviously a position of need for the Nats heading into 2019, one where they would appreciate some quality depth. Kieboom is batting .412 against right-handed pitchers, .238 versus lefties.

Also having an impressive fall league run is left-hander Taylor Guilbeau, who has trimmed his ERA to 2.16. He has surrendered only two earned runs in his eight appearances, spanning 8 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting only .185 with only five hits.

Left-hander Jordan Mills did not allow a run in his inning of work Tuesday as Salt River notched another win. He has not allowed a run in six of his last seven appearances in Arizona. The only reason his ERA is not better than 4.66 is because of the four runs allowed Oct. 25 in 1/3 of an inning.

Center fielder Daniel Johnson went 2-for-3 Monday with a double. Kieboom played second base in that game, a 4-3 Salt River victory, going 1-for-4. Catcher Tres Barrera went 1-for-3. He is hitting .273.

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