Astros: Jake Meyers rakes his way to more playing time
After Myles Straw was traded away to the Cleveland Indians, many Houston Astros fans were left scratching their heads with curiosity on the move. How many top of the league teams trade away a starting position player in the midst of what could be a deep play off run?
Well, James Click was pretty confident that he had at equal or greater value with Chase McCormick, and with Jake Meyers waiting in the wings. Meyers is no longer in the wings after a major breakout in the Astros’ Saturday night 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.
Facing off against the Angels, Jake Meyers got his third start of his career since being called up to the big league team on July 30th after the Straw trade. Interestingly, on Saturday, Meyers was filling in in right field for Kyle Tucker, who had to take a trip to the injured list due to health and safety protocols.
Jake Meyers has found himself with more playing time with the Houston Astros.
Left field, right field, center field? It didn’t matter as the show Meyers put on was in the batter’s box. He finished the evening with two home runs and five runs-batted-in across four at-bats. Meyers not only hit his first major league home run of his very young career, but his second home run, as well, which was a grand slam. Even the fly outs from his two hitless at-bats were long and loud.
Meyers’ first career home run came in the top of the second inning off of Jaime Barría. Barría left an 86.5 mph slider over the heart of the plate. Jake barreled it up and scorched the pitch, which was 102.2 mph off the bat, off the outfield wall. Meyers didn’t take any time to admire it as he was busy flashing his speed, thinking the ball was still in the park. After a little sorting by the officials, the young man was able to trot home with his first home run.
The second career home run by Meyers came in the top of the sixth inning. With no outs in the inning, Junior Guerra worked himself into a bases loaded jam when Meyers stepped to the plate. After taking a close slider for a ball, the right-hander did not hesitate on the next pitch.
He hit Guerra’s 92.2 mph four-seam fastball over the right-center field wall. While the ball wasn’t hit quite as hard (101.8 mph) as his previous home run, he got some additional launch angle on this one, leaving little to be deliberated by officials this time around.
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The shot of energy Meyers has brought to the club has been unmistakable. Even during his previous start on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies, he flashed a little bit more of the Jake Meyers everyone saw tearing up competition with the Sugar Land Skeeters.
From running down a fly ball along the right field line (and avoiding fan interference) for an out to scoring on a bang-bang play at home on a too-shallow fly ball after managing to move from first to third on a stolen base and tag-up, Meyers did everything we thought we lost after the trade with Myles Straw.
However, while clearly no rush from the fans, Meyers didn’t take long to put together a game that many young players seek in their first hundred or so at-bats. That real cap stone moment of said player’s career that validates their position on the big league roster.
While McCormick is certainly playing much deserved time at center field, I would not get comfortable if I were him. The size, speed, power and energy of Meyers is close behind. However, for now, the rookie has definitely earn himself some additional starts with Kyle Tucker on the injured list.
The Astros look to complete the sweep on Sunday at 3:07 p.m. with Lance McCullers Jr. off the rubber and Meyers in the lineup, while he wasn’t “high strung” on Saturday night.