Quakes' Rincon homers in fourth straight

Dodgers prospect has seven homers in 10 Cal League games

Carlos Rincon holds a 1.486 OPS and has hit safely in all but two of his California League games. (Chloe Melanson/MiLB.com)

By Gerard Gilberto / MiLB.com | August 11, 2018 2:52 AM

It took less than two weeks with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga for Carlos Rincon to match his Midwest League home run total, and he did so in 253 fewer at-bats. 

The Dodgers outfield prospect bashed his seventh California League homer -- a fifth-inning solo shot -- as the Quakes captured a 7-4 victory over Lancaster on Friday at LoanMart Field. He has at least one homer in each of his past four contests, including consecutive two-homer games earlier this week.

Quakes manager Drew Saylor said that Rincon's spectacular raw power jumps out, but he's truly impressed with the 20-year-old's plate discipline.

"A lot of young hitters that come up from Low-A tend to try and swing at everything," Saylor said. "He's actually laying off some tougher breaking balls, some strike breaking balls and working his at-bats to be able to get into fastball counts and then when he gets his fastball he doesn't miss."

Gameday box score

Rincon also contributed an RBI groundout in the sixth, but the blast was his only hit in four at-bats, bringing his average to .395 through 10 California League games.

"The thing, for me, that I've been excited about is the aggressiveness that he's shown but also his selective aggressiveness," Saylor said.

Rincon batted .226/.331/.358 with seven homers, 33 RBIs, 41 walks and 28 runs scored in 81 games for Class A Great Lakes. Saylor said the staff in Rancho Cucamonga didn't change course from Rincon's development but continued to drive home the same message that was being sent in Great Lakes.

"Strike zone management, being able to get yourself into hitter's counts and being ready to hit the fastball," Saylor said. "I think coming here and being able to be in a little more offensive league ... he was able to hit the ball hard and be rewarded for it. I thnik really that's where his success is beginning to stem from."

Rincon was prone to power surges in his first go-round with the Loons last season. He had four homers in a three-game span in April and went back-to-back with Cody Thomas twice in the same game on Aug. 3. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder went 16 games without a long ball before being elevated to Rancho Cucamonga on July 28.

Signed out of the Dominican Republic for a $350,000 bonus in 2015, Rincon put together consecutive three-hit performances in his first two games with the Quakes. He's 8-for-18 (.444) and has hit safely in the past five games, with homers each night in a three-game series at San Jose.

"Whenever you get a guy that comes up and has some pretty rapid success, I think he's excited about it. We're excited about it and I think he's an important piece moving in to the latter stages of August and hopefully getting into a postseason run," Saylor said. "I'm very excited about having him here, I'm looking forward to continuing to see him grow."

On Friday, Rincon struck out against Lancaster starter Antonio Santos in the second inning, then deposited an 0-1 offering from the right-hander over the center field fence in the fifth. An inning later, Dodgers No. 9 prospect Jeren Kendall singled through the right side, stole second and advanced to third on catcher Brian Serven's errant throw, scoring on Rincon's bouncer to second base.

The Santo Domingo native went down looking in his final at-bat in the eighth.

Hamlet Marte homered twice and Dodgers No. 30 prospect Omar Estevez socked a three-run blast. Twenty-fourth-ranked Cristian Santana chipped in a pair of singles.

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Rehabbing Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias started for the Quakes and allowed a run on three hits -- including a solo shot from Rockies No. 11 prospect Tyler Nevin -- and a walk while striking out two in 1 2/3 innings. The 21-year-old southpaw threw 19 of 29 pitches for strikes.

Colton Welker, Colorado's third-ranked prospect, collected an RBI double on a two-hit night, while No. 29 Bret Boswell homered and singled.

The victory was Saylor's 224th with the Quakes, making him the winningest manager in team history.

"I think Rancho is a very special place in baseball, I think it's one of the best jobs that's out there," he said. "For me, just thinking of all the different people that I've been able to meet and the impact that they've had on me and the impact that I've had on them ... that's really what stands out in moments like this."

Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @GerardGilberto4. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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