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O'Brien's two blasts part of big Thunder day
Yankees prospect has three homers in first three games at Double-A
05/11/2014 7:39 PM ET
Peter O'Brien hit 22 homers between Class A Charleston and Class A Advanced Tampa last season. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

Only two sluggers in the Minor Leagues have hit 13 home runs this season.

One comes as no surprise, and that's Joey Gallo, who famously led the Minors with 40 blasts a year ago.

The other is only slightly less well-known. For now. And it appears even a promotion to Double-A can't slow him down.

Peter O'Brien hit his 12th and 13th homers of the season and plated five runs Sunday afternoon to power Double-A Trenton to a 15-0 rout of visiting Reading.

Both of the right-handed slugger's homers came when the game was more or less out of reach. His three-run opposite-field shot in the fourth inning gave the Thunder a 10-0 lead, while his two-run blast to left two innings later made it 12-0.

O'Brien has three homers in his first three Eastern League games following a promotion from Class A Advanced Tampa. The first came Saturday in a game that was suspended after 13 innings and won by Reading, 4-3, on Sunday.

Through those first three games, O'Brien is 4-for-15 with a double and eight RBIs.

"When you get something good, there is just a feeling," he told The Trentonian. "The more you repeat that feeling, the more you know it. That's my biggest key right now, is just trying to repeat every swing and repeat my 'A' swing on a good pitch in the strike zone."

O'Brien's promotion was more than justified. The 2012 second-round pick out of the University of Miami owned a .321/.353/.688 slash line with 10 homers and 19 RBIs in 30 games in the Florida State League. His 10 long balls still lead the Class A Advanced circuit.

The 23-year-old Florida native flashed some pop a season ago with 22 homers in 119 games between Class A Charleston and Tampa. He's more than halfway there in only 33 games this year.

"So far, so good," Thunder manager Tony Franklin told the newspaper. "He's got some power, and a lot has been written about his ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark. He demonstrated that today. It was quite impressive."

Since moving to the Thunder, O'Brien has been slotted as the designated hitter, right fielder and catcher. He's received most of his Minor League starts behind the but is blocked at the position by Yankees' top prospect Gary Sanchez, who got the day off Sunday after catching all 14 innings in the suspended game.

O'Brien, however, teamed with Thunder starter Matt Tracy (4-2) as a battery in the blowout. The 25-year-old left-hander allowed six hits and a walk while striking out two in seven scoreless frames.

"We were mixing it up," Tracy told The Trentonian. "Pete did a great job calling the game, and it was the first time I had thrown to him. He was really thinking back there and he did a heck of a job. We were able to mix it up and keep them off-balance."

Center fielder Ben Gamel recorded his third straight multi-hit game with a homer, double, five RBIs and two runs scored for the Thunder, while leadoff man Taylor Dugas went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored.

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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