A year after leading the California League in home runs, Johan Mieses is at it again.
The Dodgers' No. 26 prospect went yard twice, doubled and drove in four runs on Saturday as Double-A Tulsa topped Northwest Arkansas, 9-4, at Arvest Ballpark. His first multi-homer game since July 25 gave him four long balls in his last three contests.
Gameday box score
Mieses wasted no time clubbing his first homer, a two-run shot to left field on a 1-1 pitch from Naturals starter Corey Ray in the second inning. After striking out in the fifth, the 21-year-old outfielder went deep to left again against reliever Reid Redman in the seventh. Both homers were no-doubt shots, according to Drillers manager Ryan Garko.
"The power is as real as it gets when he connects," Garko said. "He hit two more tonight … he hit them a long way. He hit both of them as far as I've seen in this league."
Video: Tulsa's Mieses homers for third straight game
Mieses added to his night by ripping an RBI double down the left field line in the eighth before getting hit by a pitch in the ninth.
With a three-run blast on Thursday and a solo shot on Friday, the native of the Dominican Republic has homered in each of the first three games of Tulsa's four-game series with Northwest Arkansas. The hot streak comes on the heels of a difficult stretch. From April 28-May 8, Mieses went 0-for-25 in nine games as his average dipped to .068.
The Drillers coaching staff stuck by him through the slump.
"I think he's really learned that the jump in the quality of pitching from the Cal League to the Texas League is very large," Garko said. "We talked to him a little bit about having a plan each at-bat and shrinking his zone a little bit while staying aggressive."
Video: Drillers' Mieses belts second homer
The work has paid off as Mieses raised his slash line from .088/.195/.235 on Friday to .125/.232/.361 on Saturday. With five homers, he's only four behind teammate Kyle Garlick for the league lead after pacing the Cal League with 28 a season ago.
"He's done a really nice job the last week or so of trying to stay to the middle of the field and use a little less body and use his hands," Garko said. "The last couple nights, we're starting to see all of his work pay off. He's just more under control in the box and hitting the ball up in the air and keeping it fair."
In his fifth Minor League season since signing as an international free agent in 2013, Mieses remains far from satisfied.
"He's ready to get back to work tomorrow," Garko said. "He's the youngest guy on the team ... he's working hard, he's smiling in the cage. Those are the things I think you look for as a manager.
"He already talked to me about what he wants to do in the cage tomorrow with Terrmel Sledge, our hitting coach. He's got a very level head on his shoulders."
Kyle Farmer added three hits and scored twice for Tulsa on Saturday. The 26-year-old catcher is 10-for-12 in his last three games.
On the mound, Drillers starter Scott Barlow (2-2) yielded two runs on three hits and a walk while fanning eight over six innings.
Ray (3-2) surrendered three runs on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 frames for the Naturals.