The crazy stat behind Rafael Marchan’s home run

Sep 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Rafael Marchan (13) hits a three run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Rafael Marchan (13) hits a three run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phillies prospect Rafael Marchan homers at the MLB level after never hitting a minor-league home run

Philadelphia Phillies catching prospect Rafael Marchan has never homered in the minor leagues.

That’s not hyperbole; Marchan has exactly zero Milb home runs.

But he has two career big-league blasts. His first came against the Toronto Blue Jays in September 2020, and his second landed in the visiting bullpen in the sixth inning at Nationals Park on Tuesday night. It propelled the Phillies to their fifth straight win.

The Phillies signed Marchan as an international free agent in 2015, when he was only 16 years old. He’s been compared to Carlos Ruiz; the beloved ‘Chooch’ also began his professional career as an infielder before switching to catching. Both were signed by the Phils after they moved behind the dish.

Marchan made his MLB debut on September 14, 2020, and has appeared in 18 big-league games so far overall. Tuesday was his 15th game of the season, as he fills in for J.T. Realmuto, who hurt his ankle over the weekend. Coming into the final game of August, Marchan was slashing .286/.306/.371 with a .677 OPS, and had gone 10-for-35 with a double, five runs scored, and 2 RBI.

At the MLB trade deadline earlier this season, Marchan was the number-four prospect in the Phillies organization, and the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted him as part of the return for Tyler Anderson. The Phillies refused, but had agreed to send fellow catching prospect Abrahan Gutierrez and pitching prospect Cristian Hernandez instead, before the trade fell through and Anderson was acquired by the Seattle Mariners.

In 1,074 plate appearances in the minors, Marchan never homered. By this metric, Marchan is the perfect example of a prospect who blossoms after reaching the big leagues. It makes you wonder how many great players the world missed out on because they never got the chance.

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