PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jake Bauers has drawn praise all spring for the beauty of his swing. Sunday afternoon in the Rays' 8-2 victory over the Blue Jays, that swing produced an epic blast.Earlier in the spring, Rays manager Kevin Cash mentioned Bauers' swing in the same breath as Ken
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jake Bauers has drawn praise all spring for the beauty of his swing. Sunday afternoon in the Rays' 8-2 victory over the Blue Jays, that swing produced an epic blast.
Earlier in the spring, Rays manager Kevin Cash mentioned Bauers' swing in the same breath as Ken Griffey Jr's. The highly-thought-of slugger, who is ranked by MLB.com's Pipeline as the Rays' No. 4 prospect, started in left field Sunday.
Facing Toronto left-hander Ryan Borucki with a runner aboard, the left-handed-hitting Bauers saw the count reach 3-2 before letting his bat do the talking.
Bauers swung and connected, sending a drive rocketing over the boardwalk in right and on top of the Rays' administrative offices to put the Rays up 2-0, while dropping a lot of jaws inside Charlotte Sports Park.
Said teammate Logan Morrison of the blast: "Really, really far. Best player ever."
Cash called the at-bat and the hit "impressive."
"That was a good one," Cash said. "The blast was one thing, but the way he got there, 0-2, lays off some pretty tough pitches to get to 3-2 off a lefty, and comes up and hits a ball about as far as you can hit it down the line."
• Bauers shows he's a natural
Bauers didn't see how far the ball went. The Rays PR department estimated the blast to be 450 feet.
"I just tried to make sure I touched all the bases," said Bauers, before allowing, "that's probably the longest one I've hit."
Bauers, 21, came to the Rays in the trade that sent William Myers to the Padres prior to the 2015 season. He spent the '16 season at Double-A Montgomery where he hit .274 with 14 home runs and 78 RBIs. In 422 Minor League games, he is a .280 hitter with 34 home runs and 241 RBIs.
"It's been pretty special to watch him, and exciting to know that he's a young player, talented, that hopefully, fairly soon he can add something to the big league club," Evan Longoria said.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.