D-backs prospect equals MiLB record with 5 K's in one inning

April 24th, 2024

In a sport full of statistical oddities and eye-opening achievements, Jhosmer Alvarez found a unique path to etch his name in the annals of the game.

Entering the game for Single-A Visalia in the seventh inning of an eventual 4-3 win, the right-handed Arizona prospect unleashed one of the quirkier appearances in recent memory. Alvarez struck out six of the eight batters he faced, including a record-tying five in the seventh to the amazement of the fans at Valley Strong Ballpark.

It was the first time a pitcher had struck out five batters in one inning since Malcolm Van Buren did the same for Rookie Advanced Burlington of the Appalachian League on July 31, 2019.

Alvarez, who began the night with seven strikeouts in seven innings this season, didn't show signs of what was to come at the beginning of his outing. The Venezuela native opened the seventh with his first strikeout of the night and then allowed a single before the fun began. Alvarez's first four wild pitches moved the runner into scoring position and another on his second K put runners at the corners.

The 22-year-old rebounded with a traditional whiff for the second out, but followed that by uncorking another wild offering on his fourth strikeout of the frame. He equaled the record of five punchouts with an inning-ending whiff. Alvarez returned to the mound for the eighth and picked up where he had left off, recording his sixth K while tossing his fourth and final wild pitch.

A double to the next batter ended his evening, but interestingly enough, Alvarez's wild outing ended with him tossing 25 of 35 pitches for strikes.

Tuesday's historical performance marked the fifth time in Minor League history a hurler fanned five in one inning. In addition to Van Buren in 2019, Andrew Kittredge of now-defunct Class A Advanced High Desert made history on July 1, 2014, Tyler Herb did it for the Rookie-level Arizona League Mariners on June 30, 2014 and Mark Montgomery also achieved the feat for Class A Charleston on July 7, 2011.

There have been no recorded instances of a Major Leaguer striking out more than four batters in a single inning.