Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Matt McLain hit a home run for the Louisville Bats in their most recent game. Sure, it probably wasn’t worded exactly like that, but something similar has been said more than a few times this season. On Wednesday, McLain picked up his 11th home run of the year for the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. And he did it against one of the top prospects in baseball, too.
Gavin Williams was on the mound and after falling behind Matt McLain 1-0 he fired a 100 MPH fastball up in the zone and McLain went up and got it, lining it the other way and into the right field patio deck at Louisville Slugger Field. The home run must have gotten under the skin of Williams because his next three pitches were 100.1, 101.0, and 101.1 MPH – his three fastest pitches of the game.
With the home run, Matt McLain is now hitting .336/.447/.696 on the year. In his 34 games he’s walked 23 times, hit 10 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs, and driven in 34 runs while also stealing nine bases. One continues to wonder when the big league club will make a call to Louisville and bring the infielder up to help an inconsistent, and frankly bad offense (they are 2nd to last in MLB with an 83 OPS+, 3rd to last with just 27 home runs).
Noelvi Marte continues to rake
The season started out slow for Noelvi Marte. The infielder hit just .184/.286/.306 in the first two weeks of the season with the Chattanooga Lookouts. He struck out 15 times in his first 56 plate appearances – that’s a 26.7% strikeout rate for those who aren’t a human calculator.
On April 22nd he would go 2-5 with a walk, double, run, and two runs batted in. He hasn’t really looked back since. Marte has only failed to reach base in one game since that point, and last night extended his streak to eight games as he went 2-4 with a double. It was his 5th multi-hit game out of his last six games.
Since April 22nd he’s gone 22-60 with eight extra-base hits. He’s hit .367/.418/.633 in 67 plate appearances during that stretch, and he’s struck out just eight time. That’s an 11.9% strikeout rate. His turn around has been impressive, and after a slow start his hot hitting of late has pushed his season line to .284/.358/.486. His .844 OPS would the best mark he’s ever had in the US at any stop – only topped by an .883 OPS back in 2019 when he was playing for the Dominican Summer League Mariners.