SAN DIEGO -- Padres fans have been hearing tales of Hunter Renfroe's prodigious power for a long time.Well, it's here. And it's very real.Through seven Major League games, the Padres' No. 3 prospect has already mashed four taters -- but none as impressive as Wednesday's third-inning moonshot onto the roof
SAN DIEGO -- Padres fans have been hearing tales of Hunter Renfroe's prodigious power for a long time.
Well, it's here. And it's very real.
Through seven Major League games, the Padres' No. 3 prospect has already mashed four taters -- but none as impressive as Wednesday's third-inning moonshot onto the roof of the Western Metal Supply Co. building.
Yes, the roof.
During Wednesday night's 6-5 victory over the Dodgers, Renfroe became the first player in Petco Park history to reach that previously uncharted territory. Many have visited the third balcony. Some have hit the letters across the top of the building. A select few have even reached the fence in front of the roof.
But nobody had hit a baseball onto that roof -- until Wednesday night.
"I was just in shock," said Padres first baseman Wil Myers. "Not only was how far it went impressive. But did you see where the pitch was? Inside, [off the plate] and down. To be able to keep that pitch fair ... it was impressive."
Added Padres skipper Andy Green: "I think we all know he's got a ton of raw power. I wasn't expecting that."
According to Statcast™, Renfroe's homer traveled a projected distance of 434 feet, with a 109-mph exit velocity and a 32-degree launch angle. (An aside: Combining a 109-mph missile with a 32-degree angle is apparently a pretty good combination. Major League Baseball has seen 16 such hits this season and all 16 have gone for home runs.)
If there's anyone who can provide perspective, it's Padres third-base coach Glenn Hoffman, who has been watching baseballs leave the yard at Petco Park since 2006. He says Renfroe's homer ranked right at the top.
"It was a 'wow' home run," Hoffman said. "It takes power; it takes bat speed. You see some guys who can do that, but you can't teach it."
So, what exactly does it feel like to square up a baseball like that?
"You really don't feel anything," Renfroe said. "It's kind of like 'spat' and then it goes. It just disappears real quick, and you know it's a home run."
Renfroe's power was always his most highly touted tool, but few could have envisioned a start like this. Only one other Padre -- Yasmani Grandal -- had ever launched four homers in his first seven games. Coincidentally, Grandal, now the Dodgers backstop, had the best seat in the house for Renfroe's last three dingers.
"The guy's really talented," said Los Angeles starter José De León, who surrendered the blast. "You've got to tip your hat to him. Pitch was in, where we wanted it. He just got the head out, and it was a monster shot. Nothing you can do about that."
Renfroe hit 30 home runs for El Paso this season, the second most in Triple-A. His power has clearly carried over. On Saturday, he hit his first career home run. On Tuesday, he added his first two-homer game, as well as his first grand slam.
And speaking of firsts: During his debut on Sept. 21, Renfroe became the only player to receive an intentional walk in his first career plate appearance since 2001.
Seven games later, pitching around Renfroe doesn't seem like such a bad idea.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.