Reds' Isabel ties FSL home run record

Tortugas slugger belts Minor League-best 34th long ball

Ibandel Isabel has amassed 85 home runs in 425 Minor League games dating back to 2013. (Mark LoMoglio/Tampa Tarpons)

By Vincent Lara-Cinisomo / | August 27, 2018 10:35 PM

In a season of adjustments, power has been a constant for Ibandel Isabel.

The Cincinnati prospect tied the 68-year-old Florida State League home run record by blasting his 33rd long ball on the circuit -- and his Minor League-leading 34th overall -- in Class A Advanced Daytona's 9-6 loss to Charlotte on Monday at Charlotte Sports Park.

Gameday box score

Isabel slugged a two-run jack to left-center field against right-hander Orlando Romero in the eighth inning to match the league mark set by Edward Levy of Sanford in 1950 and tied by James Fuller of Miami in 1971. The 23-year-old first baseman's second homer in as many games gave him 74 RBIs and a .259/.332/.559 slash line over 105 games across two circuits this year.

"Yes, my coach told me," Isabel said when asked whether he was aware of the record. "I feel very proud for me and the organization."

The native of the Dominican Republic was traded from the Dodgers to the Reds and joined the Tortugas in mid-April after six games in the California League. Having hit .291 in April, he slumped to .175 in May, but he belted seven dingers over 33 games in that span.

Scouts say he has true top-of-the-scale power, and he showed that last season with 28 homers. But he also chases pitches and has trouble with the breaking ball, scouts say. He has 153 strikeouts, fifth-most in the FSL. His power, though, makes him an intriguing prospect. Isabel, whom the Dodgers signed for $80,000 in 2013, is 6-foot-4 and has elite bat speed and strength.

"[My power] comes from my arms, my legs, my body, everything," Isabel said. "I just have to make more contact, take better swings [at pitches] in the strike zone."

MiLB include

"I knew he had that raw power from the first swing after he arrived with us," Daytona hitting coach Alex Pelaez told in June. "The first time through the league, he was surprising some people. And then word got out, and they were pitching him differently."

Isabel was particularly hot in June, when he crushed 11 homers and he has added 10 in August.

Jake Fraley tripled and drove in three runs while Carl Chester and Rene Pinto added two hits and an RBI apiece for the Stone Crabs.

Kenny Rosenberg (10-2) allowed four runs on five hits and two walks, striking out four in six innings for the win.

Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @vincelara. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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