Rocchio homers twice in five-RBI night for Akron

July 1st, 2022

It was a career night in more ways than one for Brayan Rocchio.

MLB’s No. 70 overall prospect collected his first multihomer game and drove in a career-high five runs in his first four-hit performance since July 13 of last year. Rocchio added a double and a single to go with the two long balls in Double-A Akron’s 13-9 loss at Erie on Thursday night.

"It was really cool because I've never had a two-home run game before," he said. "I was really happy."

Rocchio’s night got off to a red-hot start with a first-pitch, two-run homer to right as the second batter of the game off Erie righty Reese Olson (DET 15). After grounding out in his next at-bat, the Guardians’ No. 4 prospect rattled off a single, a double and a three-run homer in his next three at-bats to round out his 4-for-5 performance.

The 21-year-old’s second dinger was a three-run jack on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, another no-doubter to right field. A switch-hitter, five of Rocchio’s six home runs this season have come off righties from the left side of the plate.

"It just kind of happened," Rocchio said of his second long ball. "I never try to hit a homer. I just swing and that's it."

The breakout performance was a reassurance that Rocchio’s season is on the upswing. On June 12, the infielder was batting .205 and only had three homers in 48 games. Since then, he’s slashing .333/.383/.643 with three long balls in his last four contests and 10 RBIs in his last six. With the third four-hit game of his career, he’s collected four multihit games in a 10-game span.

The biggest change in his approach since the start of the season? Just trying to put the ball in play.

"That's my plan for the rest of the year. That's what is working for me," Rocchio said.

Last season, the Venezuelan started the year off slow before picking up the pace in the summer, and the pattern seems to be repeating itself in 2022. Rocchio has collected 14 hits in his last 42 at-bats to bump his season average up to .234 and his OPS to .705 to go with 19 extra-base hits, 28 RBIs and 29 walks through 59 games.