When the Cincinnati Reds acquired Nick Northcut late in 2022 as the player to be named in the trade with the Boston Red Sox for Tommy Pham the biggest thing that jumped out on his scouting report was his power. He had hit 30 home runs in 2022 across two levels of the minor leagues. But he was injured when 2023 began and missed the first month of the season.
On Wednesday night, Nick Northcut announced his presence with authority after a few weeks with Double-A Chattanooga. He entered the day with just one home run in 17 games. In the 3rd inning he obliterated the ball for a 429-foot solo home run to tie the game up at 1-1. The next inning he watched Ivan Johnson hit a 2-run homer from the on-deck circle. Northcut followed up with a home run of his own a few pitches later to nearly the exact same spot that Johnson hit his to.
While the first two home runs of the night were big, it was the third home run that was the biggest. With the game tied up in the top of the 11th inning he came to the plate with two men on and hit a 393-foot 3-run, go-ahead homer.
— Reds On The Rise (@RedsOnTheRise) June 1, 2023
It’s always a good day when you end the day with four times as many home runs on the year as you entered the day with.
While he was outdone ever so slightly in the game, Ivan Johnson smacked two home runs in Chattanooga’s extra-innings win and the one that wasn’t mentioned above was a pretty big one as it tied the game up in the 9th and helped send it to extras. That home run came from the left side of the plate, while the one earlier in the game came from the right side.
It’s been an interesting season so far for Johnson. Over the first two weeks he went 3-36 with 17 strikeouts. He was hitting .083/.209/.139 on April 20th, but he then hit the injured list and missed the next three-and-a-half weeks before returning to the Lookouts. Since he’s come back he’s hit much better. In the 14 games since his return he’s hit .271/.340/.604 with two doubles, a triple, and four home runs.