Rosario homers twice, makes leaping grab in Triple-A twinbill

July 4th, 2022

Some days, a player will make a highlight-reel play. Other days, they’ll have a breakout offensive performance. Not too often do those things happen on the same day, but for Eguy Rosario on Sunday, it certainly did.

The Padres’ No. 5 prospect did a little bit of everything for Triple-A El Paso in its twinbill sweep of Oklahoma City. First, in a completion of a suspended game from Saturday, the 22-year-old made a headline-grabbing play into the netting in an 18-5 win. Then, in the second game of the night, the infielder drilled two home runs in a 3-for-3, 5-RBI performance en route to a 12-2 victory.

"To have him make that play early in the game ... it set the tone for us," El Paso manager Jared Sandberg said. "He had an incredible day overall."

Playing shortstop, Rosario was the only one on the left side of the infield as the defense was shifted for a left-handed hitter. He ran to his right across the field on a foul pop-up down the left-field line and leaped into the netting to make a dazzling catch that ended up as No. 1 on SportsCenter's Top 10.

"It was pretty spectacular," Sandberg said. "The greeting he got in the dugout from his teammates was wonderful. It picked him up for the rest of the day."

After making the highlight-reel play, Rosario flipped the switch from defense to offense in the nightcap, smacking two long balls and a single for his fourth multihit performance in his past 10 games and his sixth effort recording three or more hits.

"He's had a hot streak like this earlier in June, he had eight homers in June, so we know the talent that he has, the skills that he has," Sandberg said, "It's pretty special."

After working a 2-2 count in the bottom of the first, Rosario took a hanging slider from lefty Robbie Erlin and skied it over the fence in left-center for a 401-foot homer that traveled off the bat at 107.9 mph, the second-highest exit velocity of the night. The two-run jack gave the Chihuahuas an early 4-0 lead.

The righty slugger didn’t wait long to make Erlin pay again. On the first pitch Rosario saw from him in the third, he drilled it 383 feet down the left-field line for a three-run blast as part of El Paso’s second four-run inning of the night. Rosario has been hitting lefties well all season long, slashing .338/.423/.603 with 23 hits, four dingers and 10 RBIs in 68 at-bats against southpaws.

"He got a couple pitches to handle, and he didn't miss," Sandberg said. "And when he doesn't miss, and he's able to barrel up the ball, he can do some damage."

Maybe the most impressive part of his night, according to Sandberg, wasn't the hits at all. It was a walk he drew in his last at-bat of the game against veteran reliever Carson Fulmer, who has held righties to a .101 batting average this season.

"The biggest thing for [Rosario] has been the swing-and-miss outside the zone, so for him to go up against a top reliever in the league -- a guy with big league experience -- at the end of the game after a long day was pretty spectacular," Sandberg said.

With his second two-homer performance of the season, Rosario has tallied a career-high 13 long balls to go with a .268 average, a .843 OPS, 44 RBIs and 19 doubles in 73 Triple-A games this season.