De Goti cycles to play Express' locomotive
Alex De Goti might have had his cycle earlier Wednesday night, but a scoring decision changed his fourth-inning double to a single.So he went for the double again. And he got it.The Houston infield prospect capped the cycle with the two-bagger while homering twice on a five-hit, six-RBI night as
So he went for the double again. And he got it.
The Houston infield prospect capped the cycle with the two-bagger while homering twice on a five-hit, six-RBI night as Triple-A Round Rock scored in every inning en route to a 20-12 slugfest win over El Paso.
"First and foremost, we came out on top as a team," De Goti said. "We won the game, so just being able to contribute and help my team win is obviously the most important thing. It's definitely a great feeling. I've been working with my hitting coach (Ben Rosenthal) a bunch the past couple of weeks, and it's starting to fall into place. I'm just continuing to narrow down on my routines and put together good quality at-bats when I go to the box."
De Goti started his monster night with a solo homer to right field in the top of the second inning before his controversial at-bat in the fourth. The 24-year-old laced a single to right that plated a run, but
Houston's 2016 15th-round pick cranked another blast to left with two aboard in the fifth. And after striking out in the sixth -- the only at-bat in which he didn't reach base -- De Goti raced for a triple on a liner to right in the eighth. That left only the double to check off, although De Goti didn't know it until just before heading to the plate.
Gameday box score,
"It's crazy, so I thought the whole time I had a double," he laughed. "Right before the AB, I'm sitting there in the dugout and we're all talking like, 'Hey, you just need a single or what is it?' My trainer (John Gregorich) looked it up real quick and said that they counted that double as a single, so everybody was telling me I needed a double going in."
Although he was seven batters away when the ninth began, the Miami native got one last chance as Round Rock's offense continued to churn. De Goti came up with runners at first and second and powered a drive to left, plating a run and making it into second with his fifth hit to complete the cycle.
"I approach every at-bat the same, just try to win the AB and compete against the guy out there and whatever happens happens," he said. "That's out of my control. I'm just trying to swing at good pitches and put solid contact on the ball. I wasn't really thinking forward to, 'Hey, I've got to hit a double.' That's adding pressure to myself. I'm just trying to square up the ball and hopefully find a gap. And it did."
The double gave De Goti his first career cycle and first five-hit game.
"Hitting for the cycle is tough, man," he said. "Just getting hits alone is tough in this game. You can do everything right and still get out, so being able to do that is definitely a special moment in my career, and I'll remember it for the rest of my life."
Houston's top prospect
"He's a special talent," De Goti said. "He's done it every single year. It's not like it's something new. I got to play with him last year and obviously this year I've gotten to play the whole season with him. The guy can do it all out there and he's consistent. This game is a game of consistency, and when you can do it like that every single year, it's impressive to watch."
Round Rock was in rarefied offensive air piling up 23 hits -- 10 for extra bases -- and going 10-for-22 with runners in scoring position. Eight of the Express' nine starters had multiple hits, and De Goti credited his team's approach.
"This side of the [Pacific Coast League] is a little more hitter-friendly," he said of the circuit's western-most teams in the Pacific Northern and Pacific Southern Divisions. "We don't get to come here as much. We only stop at these sites maybe once or twice a year. It's definitely noticeable here because the ball carries well, and if you put the ball in the air, you have a chance to get some extra-base hits. But at the end of the day, like I tell a lot of people who ask me the same question, you still have to square up the baseball. Yeah, sometimes you'll get rewarded and you don't hit it as well and you get a good result out of it, but at the same time, these pitchers are good too. They make quality pitches, and you've still got to put the barrel on the ball. This game is hard."
Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.