As he showed Thursday, Jorge Oña takes his job seriously.San Diego's No. 7 prospect drove in a career-high five runs on a 3-for-3 night to power Class A Fort Wayne to a 10-2 thumping of Beloit at Parkview Field.
As he showed Thursday, Jorge Oña takes his job seriously.
San Diego's No. 7 prospect drove in a career-high five runs on a 3-for-3 night to power Class A Fort Wayne to a 10-2 thumping of Beloit at Parkview Field.
In his fourth game after missing more two weeks with a quadriceps injury, Ona found a variety of ways to bring baserunners home.
Batting third, the outfielder opened the scoring in the first inning with a single to left field that plated No. 6 San Diego prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. Ona drove in Tatis again an inning later with a sacrifice fly to right to give Fort Wayne a 4-0 lead.
After singling to right with the bases empty in the fourth and being hit by a pitch in the sixth, he stroked a three-run double to left in the seventh.
"It's good to see him get in a groove again and pick up where he left off," Fort Wayne manager Anthony Contreras said. "Today was kind of no different. He uses the whole field. Him driving in all the runs that he did was huge for his confidence."
Gameday box score
Contreras praised Ona's mature approach, especially on the sacrifice fly.
"Compared to the other young guys on our team, you can tell he's probably played in a lot bigger games and it shows each at-bat that he goes up there," the manager said. "For us, he's a middle-of-the-lineup type of guy. He knows the situations and he knows to use the entire field to get a sac fly.
"A lot of the younger kids think they have to pull it in the air, but he's so strong that he's able to use the whole field and make the most of his ability."
Signed as an international free agent last July, Ona has made an impression in 18 games stateside. The 20-year-old sports a .311 average and Thursday's outburst gives him 13 RBIs.
Despite his success, Ona has remained serious-minded, and the news of his big game was received without too much excitement.
"He's kind of a low-post guy. I didn't see really any type of emotion from him," Contreras said. "He just goes about his business. He gets his hits, gets on base and does his thing.
"I guess in professional baseball, that's a good thing. You don't want to get too high or get too low. He keeps a steady attitude the whole time. It's good to have him on the team to show these younger guys how to go about their business."
Austin Smith (2-2) also stood out for Fort Wayne. Coming off a start in which he was roughed up for six runs over 1 2/3 frames, San Diego's 2015 second-round pick rebounded by allowing two hits with five strikeouts and a walk over six scoreless innings.
"For him to bounce back and have a game like today was huge for his confidence," Contreras said. "Anytime he can get ahead, strike one, with his fastball and have his curveball dropping in there for strikes is huge. I think after he got past the second inning, you could see his confidence go up."
Tatis homered and drove in two while scoring four times.
Ty Damron (1-4) lasted just 1 2/3 innings and was tagged for five runs on five hits with three walks for Beloit.
Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21.