Rymer Liriano has been playing in the major leagues for three days now. On his first day, he got his first RBI on a sacrifice fly. His second day, he got his first hit, an infield single. Day Three? Try a mammoth 427-foot shot that sailed into the THIRD deck of the Western Metal Supply Building. Beware of a grand slam Thursday in St. Louis. The sky certainly seems to be the limit.
I mean, the guy had 14 home runs in the minor leagues this year, but this was Gyorko-esque.
What impressed me at the game Monday was how big Liriano is. He was signed as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic and is the first “graduate” to the majors of the Padres Dominican Academy. Certainly he is off to a good start, with his non-chalant catches in right field and mature approach at the plate.
Randy Smith, the Padres VP of Player Development who signed Liriano said to Corey Brock of MLB.com: “He had a live, athletic body … even back then,” Smith said. “He always had tremendous physical skills. He had great bat speed. It was fun to see what he did today.”
As for Liriano himself, he said, “It feels great. I feel excited to crush that homer…”
The Padres are playing their best baseball of the season, with a mix of youngsters like Liriano, Yangervis Solarte and Tommy Medica, and that same shut down bullpen that has been dominating Major League Baseball all season long.
Seth Smith is still providing solid offense and defense in the outfield, and this team is having a lot of fun. From the 8th inning Quack Attack to the back-to-back in the stands plays from Chris Nelson and Medica, the Padres are on a 5 game win streak and 9-1 in their last 10. Though still 6 games out of the second wild card spot, a strong showing in the upcoming 4 game St. Louis series could go a long way in determining if Liriano will help a playoff push in 2014 or 2015. Whatever the timing, Wednesday was a nice moment to savor for the rookie and fans alike in seeing that the best is yet to come.