As the summer months grow hotter, Michael Busch's bat does too.
The 25-year-old third baseman's heater began in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 12-9 loss to Tacoma, when he battled back from down 0-2 to crush a low sinker over the fence in right-center field at 103.3 mph. That was his 20th home run of the year in the Minors, which moved him into a tie with Las Vegas' Tyler Soderstrom and Round Rock's Davis Wendzel for fifth in the Pacific Coast League.
Busch quickly got back to crushing the ball in Wednesday's game, leading off with a homer to the very same spot -- this one slightly harder at 103.6 mph -- on a 3-0 outside four-seamer.
The Rainiers, understandably, didn't give Busch much to hit after that, as he worked a walk and flew out to left in his next two trips to the plate. But in the seventh, the 2019 first-rounder parked yet another ball over the right-center fence -- this time "only" at 97.2 mph -- to move into a tie with Tacoma's Brian O'Keefe for fourth in the PCL with 22 home runs.
Of course, Busch's hot streak dates back further than this week. The North Carolina product has three two-homer games in his last 15 outings and 18 homers in 40 games since the start of June. It's been an impressive turnaround since he sported just a .415 slugging percentage with three homers his first two months of the season in the Minors.
This power output is far from unexpected. Busch has 60-grade power and launched 32 homers between Double-A and Triple-A last year. But it has been a welcomed development since he's knocking on the door of another promotion to the big leagues.
The Dodgers aren't exactly hurting for offense right now; they rank second in scoring on the season. But despite hitting 149 first-half homers, second only to Atlanta, they entered Wednesday with 32 second-half roundtrippers, tied for 12th.
Perhaps Busch could provide a boost to the L.A. lineup down the stretch. He's certainly doing everything he can with his powerful bat to make his case.