Phillies: Rafael Marchan slugs 1st professional home run
By Matt Rappa
Rookie Phillies catcher Rafael Marchan slugged his first professional home run
With the Philadelphia Phillies down by three runs and in the midst of a pennant race — with less than 10 games remaining in the 2020 season — backup catcher Rafael Marchan could have not picked a better time to slug his first professional home run.
As the very next batter following former No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak, who collected his first Major League hit, Marchan turned a 5-2 Phillies deficit into a 5-5 tie with just one swing of the bat. The clutch three-run home run came during the fourth inning of Game 2 in Friday’s doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 21-year-old had yet to homer professionally since joining the Phillies organization as a teenager four years ago. Spanning 846 career plate appearances from 2016 to 2019, Marchan had logged 40 doubles, three triples, and 79 RBI, but had yet to slug a ball over the outfield fence.
Not to mention, the Venezuela native had yet to appear at the Double-A level or higher in the organization before his September 14, 2020, big-league debut.
Marchan is ranked as the Phillies’ No. overall prospect, whereas Moniak is ranked as their 13th-best prospect.
MLB Pipeline writes that the catcher’s “calling card” is his defense. “He has catch and throw skills that would work in the big leagues right now,” they write. “He has a plus arm that has allowed him to throw out a tick more than 36 percent of potential basestealers and he’s an outstanding receiver as well.”
Marchan had already logged his first hit through three plate appearances in the majors. His first big-league home run came in just his fourth plate appearance and second MLB game overall. And, it was perhaps the Phillies’ clutchest hit of the entire season.
The Phillies went on to win, 8-7. In addition to Moniak getting his first hit in the majors and Marchan his first home run, Connor Brogdon earned his first win.