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Prospect Erceg opens eyes with monster slam

Brewers third baseman puts ball on right-field roof before hitting second homer
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Brewers third-base prospect Lucas Erceg arrived at Goodyear Ballpark on Monday and looked around, his eyes went straight to the covered pavilion in right field.

"I was like, 'Wow, it would be cool to hit one on top of that roof,'" Erceg said.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Brewers third-base prospect Lucas Erceg arrived at Goodyear Ballpark on Monday and looked around, his eyes went straight to the covered pavilion in right field.

"I was like, 'Wow, it would be cool to hit one on top of that roof,'" Erceg said.

A few hours later, that's exactly what he did.

In his own Kyle Schwarber moment, Erceg, No. 7 on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects, parked a sixth-inning grand slam on top of that roof, then smacked a long solo home run two innings later in Milwaukee's 14-4 win over the Indians.

When Cubs slugger Schwarber hit a home run that rested atop a scoreboard at Wrigley Field during the 2015 National League Championship Series, it was encased in glass for posterity. Erceg's spring slam did not get quite the same treatment. When a Brewers official asked a stadium employee whether it might be possible to retrieve the baseball, she simply laughed.

"I didn't get a good look at it. I just put my head down and started running," Erceg said. "As soon as I got in the dugout, some of my teammates were like, 'Dude, do you know where that ball landed?' No idea. They told me it was on the roof."

Video: MIL@CLE: Erceg on grand slam, two-homer game

He didn't say anything pregame about his premonition, but now he could laugh about it.

"This game is very humbling and it will get you quick, so I just tried to stay to myself," Erceg said. "Think confidently, but act humble."

• Prospect Erceg making most of second chance

Erceg, 21, was Milwaukee's second-round Draft pick last year. He is not a member of Milwaukee's big league camp, but he has already appeared in the final innings of five Cactus League games, with more to come. Infielders Jonathan Villar and Hernan Perez are off at the World Baseball Classic, opening opportunities for Erceg and other prospects.

"The guys we're bringing over are doing a good job," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "They're over here regularly. We're trying to get to know them and make them feel comfortable and a part of it, and you get a chance to talk to them before they go in the game. [Erceg] has done a nice job. He's fun to watch play."

Particularly impressive, Counsell noted, is that Erceg connected against a left-handed pitcher for his grand slam. Hoby Milner is a Rule 5 Draft pick bidding for Cleveland's roster.

In the eighth, Erceg hit his solo homer to right-center field off right-hander Nick Pasquale.

"Like I said before, it's a great time to be a Brewer," Erceg said. "[Playing in Cactus League games] is a blessing, for sure."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Milwaukee Brewers, Lucas Erceg