TJ Hopkins was called up to Triple-A to join the Louisville Bats this week and he made his debut with Louisville last night in Toledo. He wound up going 3-4 and in his first at-bat at the level he obliterated a ball that got several someone’s audibly excited.

After watching the replay 25 times or so, frame by frame, I was finally able to determine roughly where the ball landed out in left-center and that home run went somewhere between 420 and 445 feet according to the measurements on Google Maps.

The outfielder has put together a good season this year, setting career highs in several categories. He is currently hitting .265/.340/.475 with 21 doubles, 2 triples, 18 home runs, and 67 RBI in 102 games between his time in Double-A Chattanooga and now with Louisville.

Spencer Steer getting work in all around the field

Much of the time spent in the field for Spencer Steer this season has come at second base and at third base, though he has had more than a few appearances at shortstop, too. But over the last two nights he’s started a game at first base and another in right field. Those two games represent the very first that he’s played at first or in the outfield since at least high school (he didn’t play there while at Oregon and hasn’t since turning pro).

The 24-year-old has spent about half of the year playing in Triple-A and he’s performed well after crushing Double-A early in the season. Steer extended his on-base streak to 33 games last night as he picked up a hit and a walk. Since joining the Reds organization at the trade deadline he’s played in 18 games with Louisville and is now hitting .310/.402/.507. On the year he’s piled up 28 doubles, 2 triples, 23 home runs, and an .893 OPS between his three stops. With his bat seemingly ready or close to it, preparing him to be ready to play just about anywhere on the field isn’t the worst plan given how much depth there is between shortstop, second base, and third base in the farm system (and at least one of those spots not being available in the big leagues with Jonathan India still being on the team).

Hector Rodriguez remains red hot

When the Reds acquired Hector Rodriguez from the Mets at the trade deadline he was viewed as an undersized, but intriguing prospect. He was crushing the ball for the complex level Mets down in Florida, hitting .349/.381/.547 while barely striking out (10 strikeouts in 27 games). He hasn’t slowed down a bit since joining the Reds organization, and after a brief stop out in Arizona where he played in seven games (and hit .400), he was moved up to Single-A Daytona to join the Tortugas. Last night they played a doubleheader and Rodriguez picked up three more hits, including two triples.

Most of the time this season in the field for Rodriguez has come in center, but he’s also played a little bit of left and second base (in both organizations). He’s now played in 43 games and is hitting .348/.387/.565 with 10 doubles, 8 triples, 3 home runs, 16 steals, 11 walks, and just 13 strikeouts.

6 Responses

  1. Matt

    I could see Hopkins making a run at an outfield spot out of spring training next year, for two reasons. One is because he’s earned it – having a second straight good year, and has hit well, and can play all 3 outfield spots, I think. Secondly is that I don’t think the Reds will go out and spend on a FA outfielder. Steer could also put his name in the OF mix if he does well the rest of this year defensively for Louisville.

    • EyeballsInNooga

      Hopkins is more of a platoon 4th outfielder type. He’s really fringy in CF and his arm isn’t great in RF either. He kills lefties and pounds fastballs from either side but has a LOT of trouble against decent right-handed breaking stuff, especially front-door hooks.

      He deserves a shot based on having just enough defense to play the harder two spots occasionally and the power profile, but I think he’ll need some time in AAA to try to get to a point that he can at least fight off some more off-speed stuff against RHP. Next spring is probably a bit soon. What you’re hoping for here is a poor man’s Mark Canha.

      • Matt

        Yes, good point. I kind of had 4th OF in mind when I authored that. Kind of a Hopkins/Fraley platoon. Or depending on Senzel’s situation give Hopkins some CF time.

  2. Doc

    I hope whatever Steer took that “picked up a high” was legal and doesn’t earn him a seat next to Tatis, Jr!!!

  3. Doc4uk

    HRod sounds like he might be the steal of the trade season? Seems to be a true Center Fielder who makes good contact. I suspect that he may end up being our biggest surprise .