File this one away in the “statistically improbable” folder, next to the report of Phillies outfielder Richie Ashburn striking the same fan twice with a foul ball. On Saturday night, Astros minor leaguer Conrad Gregor belted his first Midwest League home run. After the ball cleared the fence, a man in a hat made a barehanded basket catch of the ball. That man? Gregor’s father, MiLB.com’s Josh Jackson reports.
According to the newspaper, Marty Gregor and Conrad’s mom came to Davenport, Iowa, for the Memorial Day weekend series, making the nearly five-hour drive from Carmel, Indiana. The 22-year-old first baseman made Saturday extra special by sparking a comeback win and sending his father a souvenir with one swing of the bat.
“He may have to watch every game from out there,” Gregor joked.
“It’s a little unbelievable, but I’m glad my parents were here to see it,” Gregor told the newspaper, “and when I got back to the dugout, I heard he made a pretty good catch.”
Watch Gregor’s blast:
Gregor, a 22-year-old first baseman, entered Sunday’s action slashing .307/.413/.425 in 184 plate appearances on the season with Single-A Quad Cities.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.