The home runs haven't come with quite the same frequency for Travis Demeritte compared to last season. Not to worry, according to the No. 9 Braves prospect, who's feeling good about how he's doing in his first Double-A season.Demeritte homered twice, tripled and drove in a season-high three runs Saturday
The home runs haven't come with quite the same frequency for Travis Demeritte compared to last season. Not to worry, according to the No. 9 Braves prospect, who's feeling good about how he's doing in his first Double-A season.
Demeritte homered twice, tripled and drove in a season-high three runs Saturday to lead Double-A Mississippi past Jackson, 4-3, at The Ballpark at Jackson.
The 22-year-old walked and scored three times in his second three-hit game of the season, which snapped a 4-for-23 funk that spanned six contests. The two-homer game was the eighth of Demeritte's career and his first since Aug. 12 with Class A Advanced Carolina. He had five multi-homer performances in 2016.
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"I've put together some really good swings throughout the course of the year," the Georgia native said. "I've made some solid contact, but I've been focused on rounding out my game and not focusing on home runs. It was nice to get that second one, not only to help the team but to help myself out, too."
Demeritte opened the scoring in the first inning with his eighth homer, a solo shot to left field immediately after Braves No. 7 prospect Ronald Acuña Jr. was caught stealing. He evened the score in the fourth with his second roundtripper of the game, then broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI triple to center in the sixth. Joey Meneses' infield single scored Demeritte with the decisive run. Seeking his first career four-hit game, he walked in the eighth.
"Tie game, two outs and a man on third. In that situation, my mind was solely on putting together a good at-bat and not to chase anything," the former Rangers prospect said of his tie-breaking triple. "I didn't let the moment trump what was really important. I stayed in the moment, got a good pitch and fortunately [Jackson pitcher Josh Taylor] made a mistake and I was able to capitalize on it."
Demeritte brought his slash line up to .263/.338/.485 to go with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 52 games. The 30th overall pick in the 2013 Draft broke out last season when he hit .266/.361/.554 with a career-high 28 homers and 60 RBIs with Carolina and Class A Advanced High Desert in the Texas organization. He also struck out 175 times, a point of emphasis for him coming into 2017.
"I was intent on being more focused and being more selective," said Demeritte, who's fanned 54 times in 52 Southern League games. "I hit a lot of homers early last year and that got me sidetracked in some of my AB's. It deterred me from my approach.
"This year, I'm honing in on making the pitchers come at me instead of me chasing them. Lay off the good pitches while also staying away from the really bad ones and don't get discouraged when hitting with two strikes. The count doesn't matter as long as I stick to my approach and make sure I capitalize when I get my pitch."
Luiz Gohara made his first start for Mississippi since returning from the disabled list. Atlanta's 10th-ranked prospect allowed two runs -- one earned -- on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Jesse Biddle (2-2) scattered three hits and fanned a pair over 2 2/3 frames to pick up the win.
D-backs No. 4 prospectDawel Lugo had an RBI triple and Rudy Flores went 3-for-5 with a double in his third multi-hit effort in four games.
Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Followhim on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB.