Walsh leads Bees' power buzz with trifecta

Angels No. 18 prospect plates four in his first three-homer game

Jared Walsh leads the Pacific Coast League with a 1.080 OPS over 71 games this season. (Salt Lake Bees)

By Rob Terranova / MiLB.com | July 24, 2019 1:22 AM

The Bees were buzzing Tuesday night, but Jared Walsh was king.

The Angels' No. 18 prospect clubbed three homers, finishing with four RBIs and four runs scored, as Triple-A Salt Lake pounded Albuquerque, 17-6, at Smith's Ballpark. The Bees set a franchise record with eight long balls.

Video: Walsh's third homer for Salt Lake

"If you told me before the game that I was going to have three home runs tonight, I probably wouldn't have believed that," Walsh said. "But it's pretty exciting. To be honest, it was a really tough thing to do. I was just fortunate to get a few pitches over the plate and put good swings on them."

The 25-year-old seems to have found his power stroke of late with eight dingers in his last nine games and nine in his last 11. Walsh leads the Pacific Coast League with a .656 slugging percentage and a 1.080 OPS. He stands fifth on the circuit with a .424 OBP. The milestone effort marked the first three-tater game of the 2015 39th-rounder's career.

"Kaleb Cowart did a really good job of setting the tone for us there in the first," said Walsh, referencing the third baseman's three-run shot to right field. "And [Justin Bour] was on a base a bunch in front of me and [Jarrett Parker] hit another homer. [Jose Rojas] stayed hot. ... Overall, the entire lineup really kept the energy going and had a nice night."

Against the Isotopes, Walsh followed up back-to-back jacks by Rojas and Bour to lead off the fourth with a solo blast to right field off right-hander Tim Melville (4-4).

Gameday box score

"I actually flailed at one before that, but then he missed over the middle with one and I put a good swing on it," the Georgia product said. "I was on a little 0-fer streaking going into the at-bat, but I wasn't really stressing too much about it. It happens over the course of 500 of 600 at-bats. But it was cool watching JP and Rojas crush balls there, and I definitely wanted to get in on that."

Two innings later after another Bour roundtripper, Walsh hammered a 1-1 fastball from righty Logan Cozart over the wall in straight-away center.

2019 Minor League milestones

"This was one of my better swings," he said. "I just got a fastball over the plate and hit a line drive to center. I was happy with all three tonight, but this one was very nice."

Walsh faced James Pazos in the seventh -- following a six-pitch walk to Bour -- and mashed a moonshot to center on the first pitch he saw from the left-hander.

"I wasn't even thinking about [a home run] there," he said. "Just put another good swing on a pitch over the plate. But, you know, as long as the team does well, my stats will come as they come. I don't really worry about that as much."

The duel threat also reached base on a fielder's choice in the first and crossed the plate on Cowart's three-run tater.

2019 MiLB include

Bour finished with three hits, three walks, four runs and two RBIs. Cowart collected two knocks and came home twice, while Parker mashed a solo bast in the third, walked and scored a pair of runs.

Los Angeles' 10th-ranked prospect Patrick Sandoval (4-4) allowed four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and a walk. The southpaw fanned eight.

No. 9 Rockies prospect Josh Fuentes belted a three-run shot in the sixth on a four-RBI night for Albuquerque.

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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