"It was a 2-1 count and I was just looking for something to drive, get a good piece of the barrel on it," Springer said of his blast off Rangers reliever Ryan Rodebaugh (0-1). "I believe it was a cutter -- I was thought it was a slider, but they told me it was a cutter. I saw off-speed pitches in that count in my first at-bats, so I was just slowing everything down and getting a good pitch to hit."
Springer, a 2011 first-round Draft pick, enjoyed a strong first full season in the Minor Leagues. The 23-year-old batted .302 with 21 doubles, 10 triples, 24 homers, 87 RBIs and 32 stolen bases in 128 games at Class A Advanced Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. He also struck out 156 times in 506 at-bats but has no major mechanical changes on his mind.
"The guys here [in the AFL] that are in the 'pen and starting games are really talented, so not being on field allows you to focus in on mistakes made in your first at-bat and make adjustments, especially against these guys, who are top notch," said Springer, who walked twice and scored three times.
So he doesn't mind taking a break from the outfield, where his defense is top notch?
"That is no problem for me," he said.
The Solar Sox also had help from D-backs-turned-Astros prospect Bobby Borchering, who hit a two-run homer in the five-run third. Dodgers second baseman Rafael Ynoa went deep in the sixth, while Orioles' No. 3 prospect Jonathan Schoop collected three hits and three RBIs.
Saguaros center fielder Darrell Ceciliani (Mets) homered and singled, while Red Sox's No. 4 prospect Bryce Brentz also left the yard in the losing cause.
Solar Sox starter Andres Santiago (Dodgers) was charged with four runs on four hits over three innings. Saguaros counterpart Joe Van Meter (Rangers) gave up two runs on four hits over 2 1/3 frames. Neither hurler factored in the decision.
The win went to Dodgers left-hander Chris Reed (1-0), who gave up a hit in a scoreless fifth.
Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com 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.