With one out and one on in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Houston Astros‘ lone rookie starter entered the box. Jeremy Peña, adding to his promising start at the plate, belted the first strike he saw 425 feet to dead center field.
Toronto Blue Jays’ closer Jordan Romano, who struggles against righties, blew his first save opportunity of the year, after being handed two lefties in his last outing Friday. Peña’s walk off home run was the Astros’ first since Jose Altuve’s against Chad Green of the New York Yankees on July 11 of last season.
Peña’s walk off was also the first by an Astros player since Brian Bogusevic’s pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam against Carlos Marmol of the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 11, 2011, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic noted.
It might not be a shot at Carlos Correa, but the Astros’ Twitter caption feels only fitting. Peña’s homer sparked a roar from two minor-league affiliates — Sugar Land Space Cowboys and Fayetteville Woodpeckers — for their former shortstop with the Space Cowboys highlighting Peña’s walk off to dead center last Triple-A season.
On the same day Jeremy Peña walked off the Blue Jays, the Astros’ shortstop broke into the top-100 prospect list for MLB Pipeline.
Prior to Sunday’s contest, MLB Pipeline announced Peña as the No. 100 prospect in Major League Baseball with the graduation of Minnesota Twins’ right-hander Joe Ryan. Entering Sunday, Peña accounted for 1.0 bWAR, which barely misses out of the top-10 in MLB by Baseball-Reference.
Fourteen games into the season, Peña is displaying maturity in the box, slashing .260/.333/.540 in 50 at-bats. The thorn in his approach is his high chase rate, sitting in the 14th percentile by Baseball Savant.
The 24-year-old botched a routine-grounder Sunday but has only two errors to his name in the young season. Peña also ranks in the 100th percentile for Outs Above Average, while making Gold-Glove plays Saturday evening.
The Astros return to the diamond 7:05 p.m. Monday in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. Framber Valdez is scheduled to take the mound against right-hander Dane Dunning.