Jim Hendry, a special assistant to Brian Cashman, likes to go to the Arizona Fall League in the final week.

By then most of the prospects have played a full minor league season followed by an AFL schedule in searing heat before crowds measured in friends and families. It is a good time, Hendry reasons, to see who has a real passion for the game because most of the players have the glazed, exhausted look of hostages seeking an exit strategy.

In the ninth inning of the fourth-to-last game, with his Scottsdale team up nine runs in the ninth inning against Salt River but also completely out of the running to make the playoffs, Slade Heathcott hit a three-hopper to Nationals third base prospect Anthony Rendon.

“Safe,” Hendry said, the eyes of an old scout lighting up. “Safe. Beat out a routine grounder in a blowout. Freaking beautiful. That kid plays so hard. Trust me, that is not the norm out there in that league.”