Matt McLain was out to a hot start when this week began. His start to his Triple-A season has had people talking about trying to find a way to get him to Cincinnati to help out a struggling offense. Those talks aren’t going to quiet down after what he did on Tuesday night to open up the Louisville Bats series against the Iowa Cubs.
After striking out in the 1st inning, McLain went to work. He drew a walk in the 4th inning. Then in the 5th inning he hit a 443-foot home run. That was his 6th of the year. No one else in the organization has more than three. In the 7th inning he singled into center. Then in the 8th inning he capped off his night with a double.
His home run came off of the bat at 106.2 MPH. The double topped that. It came off of his bat at 107.5 MPH – his second best exit velo of the season (108.9 MPH on a groundout earlier in the year).
By the time the game was over, Matt McLain was hitting .310/.449/.634 with five doubles, six home runs, 16 walks, and 20 strikeouts in 89 plate appearances. His walk rate is up from last year. His strikeout rate is down from last year. The power is also up. Good things are happening at the dish for McLain. With a 1.083 OPS he ranks 8th best in the International League.
TJ Hopkins keeps it going
On most days a 443-foot home run is going to be on top of the leaderboard….. but not on Tuesday night. TJ Hopkins followed up Matt McLain’s 443-foot home run with one that soared over the leaderboard and then some. One inning after McLain’s long homer, Hopkins crushed one to dead center that went 468 feet.
Not the best camera work ever. You can’t see where the ball goes/lands, but I guess it’s not too often that you’ll have home runs clear the batters eye, either. A day after publishing the first Longest Homers of the Week article, TJ Hopkins put up a new high score and did so by a wide margin.
His start hasn’t been quite as good as McLain’s, but it’s fair to say that Hopkins is crushing the ball. He’s hitting .338/.403/.538 with seven doubles and two home runs in his 19 games played for Louisville.