First impressions are everything. And it'd be pretty tough to make a better first impression than Diego Rincones is making with his new team.
The Giants prospect continued his torrid start on Saturday by collecting four hits and driving in five runs in Class A Short Season Salem-Keizer's 9-5 victory over Hillsboro at Ron Tonkin Field.
Video: Rincones' three-run blast for Salem-Keizer
The 19-year-old has collected at least one hit in all eight games with the Volcanoes, including multi-efforts in his last three and five overall. He's hitting .529 with two homers and three doubles and boasts a 1.308 OPS.
One person who isn't surprised by Rincones' early success is his skipper, Hector Borg. Borg also managed him last season in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he batted .308/.372/.428 with 12 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and 19 runs scored in 47 games.
"I was his manager last year, in Rookie ball, and I saw him kill that league. So this really doesn't surprise me," Borg said with a chuckle. "This kid was born with the ability to hit."
After striking out looking on three pitches from Adrian Del Moral in the first inning, Rincones did not get fooled again by the right-hander in the third. He crushed a first-pitch fastball well beyond the wall in left-center field for a three-run roundtripper that gave Salem-Keizer a 4-2 advantage.
Gameday box score
In the fifth, Rincones fell behind, 0-2, against Kai-Wei Lin (1-1). But the righty tried to sneak a high fastball by him and the Venezuela native hammered it the other way for a double to right that scored Chris Corbett.
"He can make adjustments during an at-bat and he can shoot the ball anywhere," Borg said. "He knows how to be aggressive with two strikes and his IQ at the plate is very high for a 19 year old."
Rincones led off the seventh and again found himself in an 0-2 hole, this time against righty Brian Christian. But Rincones worked the count full and took advantage of a pitch over the middle of the plate and drilled it into center for his second double of the game.
An inning later, Rincones faced right-hander Josh Green -- the Hops' fourth pitcher -- with runners on the corners and two outs. Again, he attacked the first offering and sent a ground ball into right that plated Corbett again and capped the Volcanoes' scoring.
"His hand-to-eye combo is just unbelievable and he's a strong kid," Borg said. "He works hard every day and he keeps learning and he keeps improving. He had a great extended spring and I think he's just carrying that over now. But trust me, he's going to be even better."
Greg Jacknewitz (1-1) picked up the win in relief, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk while fanning three over five innings. Orleny Quiroz finished up, striking out four in two scoreless frames.