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Renfroe finding his groove with Storm

Padres' No. 5 prospect has driven in 12 runs in his last six games
April 20, 2014

Don't call Hunter Renfroe's strong start a hot streak.

The Padres' fifth-ranked prospect is confident he'll continue hitting this well over the long haul.

"I feel great about myself and the team," he said. "I feel like I'm going to do well and I can keep it up at this pace here."

Renfroe homered to drive in all of the Storm's runs and also singled and stole a base Saturday night in Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore's 3-1 win over Modesto.

"I had a short Spring Training after a minor hamstring issue, so I'm just trying get back to seeing the ball well and drive it to the middle of the field," he said.

It's clearly working. The 13th overall pick in last year's Draft has four homers and 12 RBIs in his last six games and is batting .265 with a .342 on-base percentage and nine extra-base hits. Both of his two hits in Saturday's win came off rehabbing Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, and in his first at-bat he battled out of an 0-2 hole to poke a single through the left side.

"I was just thinking middle," Renfroe said. "I wasn't going to get fooled by a fastball inside, which it was, and I wasn't going to try to swing at anything in the dirt."

The Mississippi State product, who had only two steals in 43 games across two levels last year, took second on his own volition, guessing correctly that Chacin (0-2) would throw a two-strike curveball.

With two outs in the third, the right-handed-hitting Renfroe took Chacin's 2-1 offering the other way.

"It was a curveball on the outside part of the plate and I dropped the head [of the bat] on it," he said. "As soon as I hit it, I knew it had a good chance [to leave the park]. And by the time I stepped out of the box, it was gone.

"It was really good for me to feel like I hit a ball hard to right-center. I've been struggling a little bit to right-center and right field, popping up a lot over there. It was good to hit a good line drive."

Renfroe took no extra pride in homering off an accomplished big leaguer like Chacin, who's recovering from a shoulder strain.

"Whether it's a Major League guy or not, if it's a guy just called up from Short-Season, it doesn't really matter," he said. "The pitcher is there for a reason -- they're all good pitchers. If he's a Major Leaguer on a rehab assignment and he misses his location, anybody's going to make him pay."

Storm starter Zach Eflin (3-1), San Diego's No. 11 prospect, allowed a run on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four without walking a batter and lowered his ERA to 3.97.

Chacin was charged with three runs on five hits and a walk with a pair of strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. Rockies No. 4 prospect Rosell Herrera singled twice for the Nuts.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to