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Mendick hits first Major League home run

@scottmerkin
September 8, 2019

CHICAGO -- Danny Mendick’s state of baseball euphoria was at such an elevated level when he met with the media following Sunday’s 5-1 White Sox victory over the Angels at Guaranteed Rate Field that Chicago's utility infielder didn’t know if the ball from his first home run had been retrieved.

CHICAGO -- Danny Mendick’s state of baseball euphoria was at such an elevated level when he met with the media following Sunday’s 5-1 White Sox victory over the Angels at Guaranteed Rate Field that Chicago's utility infielder didn’t know if the ball from his first home run had been retrieved.

He didn’t know, that is, until a reporter pointed out the baseball sitting in his locker.

“Oh, yeah. It is. Nice. First one, right?” said a beaming Mendick, who finished 2-for-5 as the White Sox avoided a home sweep. “Pretty cool.

“It felt good. It felt great. I’m glad I could do it here.”

A week of firsts continued for Mendick when he connected on a 3-1 slider from Jaime Barria with one out in the fifth. His projected 347-foot drive down the left-field line featured an exit velocity of 99 mph, per Statcast, and had a little more force than a bunt single in Cleveland that stands as his first career hit.

The versatile 25-year-old, who was selected in the 22nd round of the 2015 Draft, started at shortstop, giving a day off to Tim Anderson and his American League-leading average. Mendick already has played second base and third base for the White Sox in his first week, impressing the organization with his 5-for-14 showing.

Make that, continuing to impress the organization.

“He impressed me in Spring Training. I could not be happier for him,” White Sox bench coach and acting manager Joe McEwing said of Mendick. “Cheers to the scouting department, player development and Danny Mendick. Real confident kid that believes in his ability and has the capability of playing all three infield positions and go in the outfield. Played a great shortstop today. He loves every opportunity that he gets and takes advantage of it.”

“It’s awesome,” Mendick said. “Like I said, you work hard your whole life for things, to actually get here. It’s a dream come true. I’m really grateful for every moment of it.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.