Heyer's blasts power Loons to victory

Dodgers prospect clubs grand slam and two-run shot

Luke Heyer raised his slugging percentage 112 points to .515 with his performance on Wednesday. (Great Lakes Loons)

By Rob Terranova / MiLB.com | May 15, 2019 5:10 PM

Luke Heyer began the day equipped with a new plan. He wanted to be more aggressive at the plate early on and maintain favorable counts throughout his at-bats.

The result was the best performance of his professional career.

The Dodgers prospect turned in his first multi-homer effort -- including his first grand slam -- and finished with three hits and a career-high six RBIs to power Class A Great Lakes past Dayton, 8-3, at Dow Diamond.

Video: Heyer smacks grand slam for Great Lakes

"I just went up there and wanted to look for what I'm looking for and not deviate from my plan," he said. "Hunt the pitches I want to hit and don't miss them. Don't fall behind, be aggressive early in the count towards pitches I can handle and try to stay out of two-strike counts."

The 22-year-old had two homers and seven RBIs through his first 18 games this season. Wednesday's power surge raised his slugging percentage 112 points to .515 and marked Heyer's sixth multi-hit effort of the year -- and second three-hit game.

An eighth-round pick last June, Heyer opened his rookie campaign with Rookie-level Advanced Ogden, where he appeared in five games, before finishing the season with Great Lakes. Over 63 combined games, Heyer batted .263/.333/.335 with a pair of roundtrippers, 16 RBIs and 24 runs scored.

The Kentucky product didn't waste any time executing his plan against the Dragons on Wednesday, making quick work of an 0-1 inside fastball from Dayton starter Alexis Diaz in the second inning, sending it over the wall in left. The jack drove in James Outman, who had walked, to give Great Lakes a 2-0 advantage.

Gameday box score

After grounding out to the shortstop to lead off the fourth, Heyer stepped to the dish two frames later and, after falling behind 1-2 to Carlos Machorro, punched a ground ball through the left side of the infield for a base hit.

The Loons started the seventh with a single by Hunter Feduccia followed by three straight walks. After Outman was called out on strikes, Heyer came to the plate with the bases still juiced and crushed a Machorro pitch to the deepest part of the park in left-center for a grand slam.

"I was just trying to get the ball in the air in that situation so that I could at least get one run in," he said. "But the wind was kind of in my favor, and I barreled it up pretty good and it ended up going out. But my approach wasn't to go yard there, I would have been glad to just bring in a run."

2019 MiLB include

Dodgers No. 21 prospect Leonel Valera worked a walk and scored for Great Lakes, while 27th-ranked Miguel Vargas chipped in with a pair of hits.

Michael Siani -- the Reds' No. 7 prospect -- went 3-for-5 with a solo shot and two runs scored, and 28th-ranked Jonathan Willems singled and scored for Dayton.

Rob Terranova is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RobTnova24. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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