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Nam makes history for Raptors

Dodgers prospect completes Ogden's first cycle in 14 years
July 25, 2012
The last time a member of the Ogden Raptors hit for the cycle, their hitting coach was still playing in the Minor Leagues.

Tae-Hyeok Nam tripled in the eighth inning Tuesday night, completing the Raptors' first cycle in 14 years and helping Rookie-level Ogden defeat Helena, 9-5.

Making his first appearance since July 19, Nam started off with a bang by doubling in the second inning. He singled in the fourth and hit a solo homer in the sixth before coming to the plate again in the eighth.

"He's been battling, trying to get his timing right," Raptors hitting coach Doug Mientkiewicz said. "Usually when he sits for a couple of nights, he gets back to what he normally does. Tonight was one of those nights where everything he hit fell; he picked it up big-time tonight. He's a big right-handed hitter with a lot of pop and we're trying to find a way to get him to be more consistent and get the barrel on the ball."

The 21-year-old first baseman ripped a liner down the right-field line and legged out his first triple of the season.

"I think everybody on the team was screaming at him to keep running," Mientkiewicz said. "It was a ball down the right-field line and we're screaming at him, 'Don't you dare stop.' From what I understand, the guys in the dugout were telling him if he hit a ball into the gap, don't stop running."

Obispo Brito was the last Raptor to hit for the cycle on Aug. 19, 1998. At the time, Mientkiewicz was starring for Double-A New Britain on his way to a 12-year big league career.

Having lost three straight toward the end of the first half of the Pioneer League season, Nam's big game could not have come at a better time.

"It was a good win for us altogether because we're fighting for a playoff spot and he came up huge," Mientkiewicz said. "We've missed a couple of late and to have something that brings the boys together, the timing couldn't have been better. It's a big moment for everybody -- not just him but the whole team."

Nam, the first South Korean high school player ever signed by the Dodgers, entered the game hitless in his previous nine at-bats. Tuesdday's performance raised his average 40 points to .256.

"Hopefully, he continues to build on what he did tonight," Mientkiewicz said. "He didn't go out of the strike zone. That's what he preach on the team: Don't chase, stay in the strike zone and good things happen."

Devin Shines slugged a three-run homer and Eric Smith went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to raise his average to .366 for Ogden, which is tied with Grand Junction for first place in the South Division.

Matt Laney (3-1) struck out six and allowed three hits over six shutout innings to get the win.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to