Talk about making the most of an opportunity. Joey Meneses went 2 for 3 with a home run in last night’s game, hitting his fifth homer in the first nine games since making his major league debut on August 2nd (at 30 years old).
In nine games since, Meneses, who played 10 seasons in the minors before finally getting the call, is now 12 for 31 (.387/.441/.871) with five home runs, six RBIs, two walks, and eight runs scored since he was called up following the trade deadline.
As the Nationals highlighted in their post game notes last night, “[Meneses’] 12 hits are tied with Ian Desmond for the most hits by a Nationals’ player (2005-present) in his first nine Major League games,” and now, “[h]is five homers through nine games are tied for the second most all-time behind only Trevor Story, who hit seven home runs, through a players’ first nine games of their career.”
“He’s swinging the bat well, he really is,” manager Davey Martinez said of the run Meneses has been on since he came up (and before that, as he put up a .286/.341/.489 line, with 14 doubles, and 20 home runs in 96 games and 414 plate appearances at Triple-A Rochester in his first season in the Nationals’ system after signing a minor league deal this winter).
“This guy has obviously earned every at-bat he’s gotten in the big leagues,” GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this past Wednesday, when Meneses’ early run in the majors came up, “... and the most important part, he’s taken advantage of it, so he’s a great story of a guy who never gave up on his dream, and a good story about our international scouts who saw him play internationally and told me to pull his name and to sign him to a minor league contract.”
“He’s got a great two-strike approach, he’s staying on the baseball, when he’s ahead in the count he tries to drive the ball and it’s been really good,” Martinez said after last night’s win.
“A lot of fun watching him go out there and compete and watching him do well.”
Martinez said he’s enjoyed the fact that Meneses is making his daily decisions on the lineup difficult.
“It makes my decision really hard some days, because if you’re swinging the bat like that and you want to do something else, it’s hard to take him out, but he’s making it hard, he really is. But I love his energy, and I love his work ethic. He’s got an impeccable routine in the cage that’s impressive. So, after — we’ll get some of our young guys to watch him and what he does in the cage so they can learn a routine similar to that.”
Meneses is back in there today for the series finale with the San Diego Padres...
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 3RD OF 3 WITH THE PADRES:
Gooooooooood morning ☀️#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/FuwIjbkp05— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 14, 2022
NOTE: If you’re wondering who’s leading off, it’s Alex Call, who was claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Guardians on August 7th.
He was called up this morning, with Josh Palacios optioned back to Triple-A.
From Press Release:
“Call, 27, hit .292 with 18 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 52 RBI, 51 walks, nine stolen bases and 62 runs scored in 76 games between Triple-A Columbus (CLE) and Triple-A Rochester this season. He posted a .423 on-base percentage and a .521 slugging percentage in his sixth professional season in 2022.”