Entering Saturday’s Double-A matchup between Amarillo and Midland, Corbin Carroll had five homers on the year. He exited Sunday’s contest with nine.
Carroll, MLB Pipeline’s No. 19 overall prospect, slammed two home runs in back-to-back games for the Sod Poodles, the first two multihomer games of his career. The 21-year-old went 2-for-5 with two solo shots in Amarillo’s 18-9 blowout on Sunday and was one of three Top 30 D-backs prospects to hit two home runs. No. 18 Dominic Fletcher drove in seven runs in a 4-for-6 day and No. 24 Blaze Alexander drove in three, going 3-for-6.
“Last year being cut short, I didn’t really get to prove what I had in the tank but I think this year, just having the opportunity to play these games, it’s starting to come out,” said Carroll of his power increase this season. “It’s been a total team effort and it makes it a lot easier to go out there and have some pitches to hit when the whole lineup’s doing damage.”
Carroll started the game with a leadoff blast to left-center and after a pair of singles from Eduardo Diaz and Leandro Cedeno, Fletcher crushed a three-run shot to give Amarillo a four-run lead before making an out.
The second-ranked D-backs prospect batted second in the second inning and cranked his ninth long ball of the year on a 2-1 count, giving him four home runs over six at-bats in his two-game power surge.
The Sod Poodles put up nine runs in the third inning to break the game open, bringing 13 batters to the plate. Fletcher started the inning with a single and scored on a RockHounds error, but his second at-bat of the inning would do the most damage. The 24-year-old launched a grand slam, which was followed by a solo shot from Alexander to give Amarillo a 12-run lead.
“Super happy for those guys. Grinding day in and day out, this whole year has been really awesome. They’re both leaders on this team and I’ve definitely taken a lot away from them,” said Carroll. “We’ve got a great team, such great guys and it’s fun to be a part of.”
Midland put up four runs in the top of the fifth and Alexander responded with a two-run shot in the bottom half of the inning, recording his fourth homer of the season and the first multihomer game of his career.
Amarillo added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh and Midland scored three in the top of the eighth to give the game its final score with a combined 27 runs. The two squads totaled 23 runs on Saturday night in Midland’s 12-11 win. Carroll had his first career two-homer game, and according to his mom in a Twitter post, he hit his first little league home run exactly 10 years prior.
"My mom texted me a picture of me holding my first Little League home run ball," Carroll said following yesterday’s game. "Just like, I don't know, it just popped up on her phone and it was a fun little tidbit."
After Carroll was taken out of high school with the No. 16 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, he quickly impressed in 42 games at Rookie and A-ball, showcasing his combination of power and speed with 18 extra-base hits and 18 stolen bases with a .896 OPS.
He lost two years of game time due to the cancellation of the 2020 Minor League season under the Covid-19 pandemic and a season-ending shoulder injury seven games into 2021, but Carroll doesn’t consider them lost years.
“Each one of those years I feel like I put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes and obviously a lot of time wasn’t spent on the field, but I found ways to get better,” said Carroll. ‘Being out here now, I’m having opportunities to prove myself.”
Playing just seven games in two seasons has shown no ill effect on Carroll’s game this season. Through 24 games and 120 plate appearances, the Seattle native has a .326/.458/.695 slash line with a 1.153 OPS. Carroll has 16 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs, 27 runs scored, 19 walks and eight stolen bases, showing the five-tool potential that D-backs fans have been waiting to see.
“I’ve got some personal goals of mine involving just sticking with my process and continuing to find a way to get better every day,” said Carroll. “The big one for me is just being out here and trying to enjoy it, because it’s really a privilege to be out here. Not playing too many real games these past couple of years, I’m just trying to soak it all in and have a good full first year.”