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Arizona Fall League: Jarek Cunningham Homers

Here's the latest from the Arizona Fall League, the top offseason league for Major League Baseball prospects. The Mesa Solar Sox, which feature seven Pirates prospects, lost to Salt River 4-3 on Friday. Robbie Grossman went 1-for-4 with a stolen base, while infielder Jarek Cunningham (who had started the AFL season very slowly) went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. 

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None of the Pirates' pitching prospects made an appearance, but Nate Baker will start for Mesa Saturday night. Baker, 23, pitched 148.1 innings for Class A+ Bradenton in 2011, striking out 105 batters and posting an ERA of 3.34.

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There's still no mention of when Gerrit Cole will make his pro debut in the AFL, and that's what Pirates fans are really waiting for. Cole, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, will be playing against very advanced competition, and it will be interesting to see how he fares.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.