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Engel takes Gray deep for 1st career homer

Rookie outfielder has fine-tuned offensive approach
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- The White Sox jersey No. 41 worn by Adam Engel for his Major League debut on May 27 against the Tigers was presented to his dad recently as a Father's Day gift.

And the baseball Engel connected on for his first career home run during a 5-3 loss to the A's on Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field also will have a family feel as part of its final destination.

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CHICAGO -- The White Sox jersey No. 41 worn by Adam Engel for his Major League debut on May 27 against the Tigers was presented to his dad recently as a Father's Day gift.

And the baseball Engel connected on for his first career home run during a 5-3 loss to the A's on Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field also will have a family feel as part of its final destination.

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"Give it to my parents more than likely," said the 25-year-old Engel, after Oakland completed the three-game sweep of his team and dropped the White Sox to 32-42 overall. "I try to give them all my memorable jerseys or bats or balls or whatever the case may be. They do whatever they want with it."

Based on Engel's early Major League results, the No. 17 White Sox prospect per MLBPipeline.com might have more significant memorabilia to come. Engel has expertly handled center field, which was the trait the organization expected from him when he was promoted.

Sunday's 1-for-3 showing left the right-handed hitter's average at .308 and his OBP at .341 over 14 games. Engel, who also has four stolen bases to leave him one off Tim Anderson's team lead, has fine-tuned his offensive approach since arriving with the White Sox.

That change includes dropping his hands a little lower at the plate.

Video: OAK@CWS: Renteria on team being swept at home by A's

"You get to watch a lot of video and kind of see what guys are trying to do to certain players," Engel said. "You always have to kind of keep in the back of your mind that you are somebody different than what you might be watching on video.

"So, you just try to put that all together and make sure you are prepared before each game. As far as mechanics go, I messed with my hands a little bit here and there height wise. Just try to get them to a closer place to where I swing from. But at the same time it's pretty similar I would say."

Sonny Gray yielded Engel's home run with two outs in the third, the same Sonny Gray who has been the topic of numerous trade rumors with the non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching. Engel connected on a 2-1, two-seam fastball, with an exit velocity of 100.2 mph, a launch angle of 33 degrees and a hit probability of 48 percent for the 382-foot drive to left per Statcast™.

As he reached the dugout, White Sox manager Rick Renteria high-fived Engel, but the rest of his teammates gave him an initial silent treatment. The celebration began shortly thereafter, with Engel getting the ball back from the bullpen, who retrieved it from a young fan who ended up with the home run.

To enhance the day, Engel had friends and family in town and at the game.

"It was a pretty cool feeling," Engel said. "The guys ahead of me worked some deep counts and did some work early for me. I got a fastball up in the zone -- I was ahead in the count. I was able to see it, kind of looking for it and put a good swing on it."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Adam Engel