Drew Weeks sure knows how to kick off the second half of the Triple-A season.
The Colorado infield prospect crushed two home runs -- including his first career grand slam -- in the second inning of Albuquerque's 9-8 victory over El Paso on Thursday night at Southwest University Park.
"That might be the coolest thing I've ever done," Weeks laughed.
Video: Weeks' two-HR frame for 'topes
After heading into the All-Star break with a .241/.302/.405 slash line, the 26-year-old returned to Pacific Coast League action in dramatic fashion. With the Isotopes up by one run heading into the second inning, Weeks doubled his team's lead on the first pitch of the frame, belting El Paso southpaw Jerry Keel's offering to straight-away center field.
That fueled a furious rally for the Isotopes, who batted around while tagging Keel for four more runs. When Weeks came back to the plate, the table was set to do even more damage -- the bases were loaded with two outs. Weeks worked a 2-2 count off Keel before hammering his fifth pitch over the left-field fence.
But it was the pitch before the slam that the North Florida product thought he got all of.
"[Keel] went up and in with a fastball that I thought I hit out. The wind blew it straight back into my face," Weeks laughed. "It ended up over by the third-base dugout, but I really thought it was a homer."
Gameday box score
One pitch later made it the real deal for the 2014 seventh-round pick in his second multi-homer game of the season.
"I knew I had enough power to definitely do it, but it's more of a mind-set thing," Weeks said. "If I can stay mentally locked in and not think about everything else, then anything can happen on any swing.
"I didn't really think it would happen, but I mean anything is possible. That's why you play the game, right?"
Weeks holds a starting role for Albuquerque in his second Triple-A stint. He began the 2018 season with the Isotopes, notching a .267 average and .837 OPS in 49 games. Then he broke his hamate bone in his left hand, sidelining him for weeks. He rehabbed with Rookie-level Grand Junction and ended up with Double-A Hartford.
This year, he's collected eight homers, four triples, 10 doubles, 38 RBIs and 31 runs in 77 games. But the Orange Park, Florida, native would still like to see some improvement at the plate.
"I expect a lot out of myself," said Weeks, who led Division 1 with a .430 average in his junior season.
2019 MiLB include
To that end, he spent the first half of the year constantly analyzing and experimenting with his swing. But a random night playing video games brought him to a new revelation.
"It came to me playing Xbox one night when a friend told me that I was consistently being inconsistent," Weeks said. "The consistency, what I had in college and at the beginning of last season, is what I'm trying to get back to."
So he stopped stressing, started praying and let himself just play -- and he's liked the results so far. In his last seven games, Weeks has gone 9-for-24 (.375) with seven RBIs, including a 4-for-4 night against Sacramento.
"I ended the first half really well and then I come back in the first game of the second half like this, so I feel really good about where I'm at right now." he said.
Colorado's No. 14 prospect Yonathan Daza turned in a three-hit game with a pair of doubles while 10th-ranked Josh Fuentes, No. 29 Brian Mundell, Drew Butera and Peter Mooney collected two hits apiece.
El Paso also staged a rally, but fell just short with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Padres No. 2 prospect Luis Urias cranked his 18th homer of the year and Aderlin Rodriguez ripped a three-run blast.