Indians No. 4 prospect leads offensive charge in finale against Mariners
By August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- On a windy Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field, there were a handful of deep fly balls that looked and sounded like home runs off the bat, only to fool the fans, players, coaches and broadcasters in attendance by falling short at the warning track.
A betting man might have wagered that no home runs would be hit with the way the ballpark was playing during the Indians' 6-0 victory.
A betting man would have lost when Giovanny Urshela smacked his first career home run over the high left-field wall, hitting a railing and caroming back onto the field and eventually finding its way back into Urshela's hands in the dugout.
"I'll keep it forever," Urshela said.
The rookie third baseman, ranked the Indians' No. 4 prospect, was called up from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday night and made his Major League debut on Tuesday.
On Wednesday night, he recorded his first career RBI on a ninth-inning groundout. The third inning of Thursday's game brought him his first career hit -- an RBI single to left field -- and his first run when he came around to score on a two-run single by Roberto Perez.
"We're all happy for him," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You can see just how happy he was, just genuine, pure -- you don't get to see that all the time. It's once in a lifetime when you get your first Major League hit, first Major League home run. That was fun to watch.
Urshela has always been praised for his defense at the hot corner, but a revamped weight training program adopted before the start of last season gave Urshela added muscles and the results showed, as he's slugged 21 home runs in 149 games between Double-A and Triple-A in the last two years.
Whether that strength will continue to translate to the Major League level remains to be seen. But Thursday's power display into the heavy gusts by Lake Erie can't be viewed anything but a good sign.
"I was just so happy to round the bases," Urshela said.
August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.