Sure, it was at a very hitter-friendly park in a very hitter-friendly league, but Koby Clemens hit the cover off the ball last season:
Say what you want about the Astros’ eighth-round pick of the 2005
Draft, that he’s a product of a hitting league and a very friendly
ballpark, but it’s difficult to look past the fact that he finished the
season with the most RBIs in all of the Minor Leagues, won the
California League batting title with a .345 average and led the Class A
Advanced circuit in RBIs (121), doubles (45), slugging percentage
(.636) and OPS (1.055).
Clemens was an 8th round pick by in 2005, he tends to have to repeat levels before he does anything solid and he isn’t even the Astros’ top-rated catching prospect (that would be Jason Castro). Still, he has power and some patience at the plate and may just manage to make it to the bigs someday if the stars align just so.
Not bad for someone who seemed like a nepotism pick at the time.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.