Sun Jul 10 11:55am EDT
Broken-bat home runs aren't as rare as say a double hit, but that doesn't make them any less impressive when they do occur.
The latest such home run was struck by a fringe catching prospect in the Colorado Rockies organization by the name of Jordan Pacheco.
Pacheco, who has spent the entire season playing for the Rockies Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs, exploded his bat with a sixth-inning swing in a 7-6 win over Salt Lake City on Friday night. Amazingly, the ball jumped off his bat and then kept carrying, and carrying, and carrying. It eventually cleared the 410-foot sign in center field for a two-run homer.
Watch the video courtesy of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox:
So how did that happen? Well, here's the catch: Pacheco's home ballpark (Security Service Field) sits 6,531 feet above sea level, which is the highest elevation of any ballpark in North America. That's nearly 1,300 feet higher than Coors Field. And there's no humidor in place to help make life easier for the pitchers. That makes it arguably the most hitter-friendly park at any level of professional baseball.
If you want to put an asterisk next to Pacheco's homer, it would be understandable based on that information.
But here's the other catch: Despite that home-field advantage, Pacheco had only hit one home run in 213 at-bats this season prior to the broken-bat shot. So we're not talking about a former major leaguer with power like Mike Jacobs(notes), who has hit 15 home runs in the Springs this season. We're talking about a light-hitting catcher that probably doesn't project as anything more than a career backup.
Putting all of those elements together, I honestly can't explain how Pacheco pulled this off. Go back and watch the video again. Maybe you'll figure something out.