Miranda slugs 3 homers in birthday bash

June 30th, 2021

proved that birthday wishes aren't just flights of fancy. Or maybe he's just really good at baseball.

On a night when both teams wore special Negro League jerseys to honor the late Larry Doby, the No. 16 Twins prospect did his best impersonation of the Hall of Famer. Miranda enjoyed a stunning Triple-A debut, hitting a grand slam and homering three times en route to tying career highs with five hits and six RBIs in St. Paul's 15-4 win over Omaha at CHS Field.

"I was so pumped," the birthday boy said. "To go deep on my birthday was great, but three times? That was awesome."

In the midst of his best season as a professional, the Twins promoted the 23-year-old after he batted .345/.408/.588 with 21 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs and 36 runs in 47 games with Wichita. A scorching June that included a .370 average and seven of his 13 home runs prompted his ascension, although the decision had been in the works for some time.

"I think in Miranda’s case, we always knew he could defend ... and the bat potential was there," Twins executive vice president, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told reporters prior to the game. "Our scouts and our development team all kind of felt aligned on what his offensive upside could be. He started off by putting together a nice season so we kind of felt like this promotion was going to happen at some point if he continued [to perform]."

Inserted into the leadoff spot, Miranda saw five pitches before depositing the sixth over the left-center field fence for his first Triple-A homer. After reaching on an infield single in the second, the Puerto Rico native blew the game open in his next at-bat with the fourth grand slam of his career and first since 2018. Miranda completed his first three-homer game leading off the fifth.

"I was just trying to hit a good pitch," the 6-foot-2, 210-pound infielder said. "It was a slider, and a little down. It wasn’t my best swing and I was a bit out front but I got enough of it that it still left the yard. I was a little surprised."

Miranda added a double in the seventh and had a chance at a personal-best sixth hit, but he grounded into a double play in his final at-bat. It was the second five-hit game in less than a week for Miranda, who also homered in his final game with Double-A Wichita on Sunday.

Buoyed by three multi-homer games through the first seven weeks of the season, the 73rd overall pick in the 2016 Draft equaled the career-high 16 long balls he hit in 2017 when he played in 131 games.

"I've been focusing on swinging at better pitches and working on my strength and balance," Miranda said. "I've always known I had power, but I want to focus on being a complete hitter. I knew eventually the power would come."

Miranda increased his average to .360 and his OPS to 1.065 in 200 at-bats.