Encore! Hinds continues historic power display in remarkable start to career

July 10th, 2024

CINCINNATI -- Through two big league games, Reds rookie right fielder is posting video game-like numbers -- if the game was in easy mode.

“The ball looks slow and big coming into the zone right now," Hinds said.


Hinds notched three more extra-base hits -- including another massive home run -- as the Reds enjoyed a 12-6 rout over the Rockies on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

With Hinds in its lineup, Cincinnati (44-48) has won the first two games of the four-game series as it tries to remain in the playoff hunt ahead of the July 30 Trade Deadline.

“He’s playing with confidence and having fun," Reds manager David Bell said of the organization's No. 15 prospect. "When you hit like that, you have a lot of fun. He’s contributing to wins, and these are big games for us.”

Hinds, 23, is batting .625 with a 2.500 OPS while going 5-for-8 with two home runs, two doubles, a triple and three RBIs. He is the first player in the Major Leagues since at least 1901 to notch five extra-base hits over his first two games.

The rookie, who was a single shy of hitting for the cycle, was not aware of his history-making achievement.

"That’s pretty awesome. I knew I was doing some pretty cool stuff," Hinds said. "I try not to look up at the board and look at numbers. I try to stay humble and do my thing out there.”

Against Colorado starter Cal Quantrill in the bottom of the second inning, Tyler Stephenson drove a 3-0 pitch off the face of the second deck in left field for his first homer since June 3, at Colorado, and his seventh overall.

With one out and two on, Santiago Espinal hit an RBI single. That set the stage for Will Benson to power a three-run homer to right field that gave Cincinnati a 5-0 lead.

But Hinds would stand out most on a big offensive night for the Reds. In the fourth inning, he hit a leadoff double to right-center field. During the two-run fifth after Stephenson added an RBI double to center field, Hinds hit an RBI triple to right field.

In the seventh inning with two outs, Hinds crushed a Statcast-projected 458-foot home run well into the second deck in left field. He became the first player with homers that traveled 445-plus feet for each of his first two career homers since Statcast began tracking in 2015.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hinds is also the first Reds player to hit a homer in each of his first two big league games.

Seeing Hinds slug such mammoth drives was not new for Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo or Stephenson. Both played with him at the team's alternate training site during the 2020 pandemic-shortened MLB season amid the canceled Minor League season.

“You could see it then. The guy is a freak athlete, for sure," said Lodolo, who was the Reds' 2019 first-round Draft pick before the organization selected Hinds in the second round.

"The power is legit," Stephenson said. "Man, when he gets a hold of the ball -- I’ve never really seen many balls go where he hit it tonight. Just how hard he hits the ball, too. It’s impressive. I’m happy for him. He’s living the dream.”

Hinds was batting .216 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs at Triple-A Louisville with a nearly 43 percent strikeout rate ahead of his promotion on Monday. It came amid injuries to multiple outfielders and after the Reds were swept in three games by the Tigers over the weekend.

Just before the call-up, Hinds was 5-for-14 with two doubles and a homer over his last three games for Louisville.

“When I get hot, I feel like no one can stop me," Hinds said. “I would say the last week or so, I started heating up a little bit. I cut my strikeouts down, and started putting the barrel on the ball a little bit more."

Needing only the single, Hinds had a chance to hit for the cycle during his fifth and final at-bat in the eighth inning.

“We were rooting for one that last at-bat," Bell said.

Hinds' first swing against reliever Nick Mears was big and missed. It certainly was not usually the type of swing from a guy looking for a single.

“Most of my cuts aren’t," Hinds said.

Hinds struck out to end the inning. Perhaps, more history awaits for another day.

“He’s going to get opportunities to play, for sure," Bell said. "You want to keep him in there when he’s feeling good at the plate and playing with confidence.”