Playing in the Arizona Fall League for the second time, Solar Sox center fielder Brian Goodwin has learned one of the keys to being successful in baseball's "finishing school."
"You're playing with very above average, very good baseball players," said Goodwin, the Nationals' No. 1 prospect. "You've got to know that every day when you step between the lines, you've got to be ready to go. That's no different from last year, it's just reinforcing it."
Wednesday, Goodwin and his Solar Sox teammates had no trouble with that message. Mesa jumped out to an early lead and easily defeated Scottsdale, 7-0, at Scottsdale Stadium. The loss extended the Scorpions' losing streak to six games.
Goodwin went 2-for-5 with a run and a double to help drive the Solar Sox offense.
Goodwin said he is working on some adjustments to his setup at the plate Wednesday. He wants to make sure his feet are consistently getting into the same position at the plate.
"I was just working on some new stuff with my setup and approach at the plate," he said. "I was trying to see some pitches that I can do something with, and I got a couple of those today and I didn't really miss them."
Goodwin wasn't the only Nationals prospect to have a good day at the plate. First baseman Matt Skole, the Nationals' No. 10 prospect, hit a two-run home run, his third of the fall. Left fielder Steven Souza went 1-for-5 with a run and is now hitting .360 in seven games.
Goodwin said all of the Nationals prospects have played well this fall. He has been especially impressed with Skole, who was sidelined on the second day of the season after a collision at first base caused a microfracture in his left wrist and tore his ulnar collateral ligament.
"Skole is coming back strong," Goodwin said. "He had a little vacation there, but I think he's getting back in the swing of things. Next year should be really good for him and for the Nats as a whole system with all of us."
Mesa also got an impressive performance from its pitching staff Wednesday. Starter Dallas Beeler threw four scoreless innings and four relievers combined to complete the five-hit shutout.
Center fielder Mason Williams has Scottsdale's lone extra-base hit, a double to lead off the fourth inning. The Yankees' No. 2 prospect finished the game 1-for-4.
Williams and Goodwin, who are both ranked in MLB.com's Top 100 prospects, will be in the outfield together Saturday representing the East Division in the Fall Stars Game. It will be Goodwin's second appearance in the annual all-star game.
Goodwin has played well throughout this fall and is hitting .314 in 12 games. He said he wants to continue playing at that level in the season's final few weeks.
"I've got to stick on the same course that I have been on since I've been out here," Goodwin said. "It's a long season, but I'm trying to stay focused and keep up with all my work and just keep with it."