Add homering in back-to-back games to the list of accomplishments for Jake Marisnick as a Major League Baseball player. The former third-round pick, who was traded from the Blue Jays to the Marlins and then to the Astros this past July, has been given the privilege to develop into a big league hitter at the big league level.
Marisnick won't turn 24 until days before the 2015 season begins, in which he will likely become a starter in the Astros outfield that will include Dexter Fowler and George Springer. The positions of those three are yet to be determined, but they will certainly cover an insane amount of ground.
Assuming Robbie Grossman remains with Houston, he will likely be relegated to a fourth outfielder position, but because he possesses a plus on-base tool, he will push Marisnick for playing time.
Since playing his first game with Houston, Marisnick is at .276/.307/.375 and has heated up in September with a line of .296/.322/.463, including the pair of three-run home runs this past weekend.
The knock on Marisnick has been his inability to recognize and hit offspeed deliveries. That may be the reason Miami kept Marisnick at AAA outside of 165 MLB plate appearances in the last two seasons. Marisnick eclipsed that 165 mark with the Astros Monday night and appears to only be getting better.
Saturday's home run was an absolute hanger from Erasmo Ramirez, but at this level hitters have to be able to take advantage of mistakes like these.
Sunday's homer, however, was much different. This was actually a good pitch by Yoervis Medina, who has been reliable for Seattle's impressive bullpen. Medina threw four straight curveballs, one of which Marisnick swung and missed at, before riding the 1-2 offering out of the ball park to put Sunday's home finale out of reach.
The pitch may have been called a ball had Marisnick taken it. Instead, he stayed right on it for the big hit.
Marisnick may never turn into a much of a power hitter, especially for a corner outfielder, but with the defense and speed he provides, he can be valuable for Houston going forward. Hopefully for Houston, this past weekend is just the tip of the iceberg.