'It was really special:' Toglia slugs three homers
Triple-A Albuquerque has been hitting a lot of home runs lately. Michael Toglia was the latest player to join the long ball party with a milestone performance on Saturday that not only secured a pair of personal records, but a team mark as well. Colorado’s No. 14 prospect clubbed the
Triple-A Albuquerque has been hitting a lot of home runs lately.
Colorado’s No. 14 prospect clubbed the first three-homer game of his career and reached the 30-homer plateau for the first time in Albuquerque's 18-7 loss to visiting Round Rock. His first home run marked the 17th consecutive game an Isotope has gone deep, establishing a franchise record.
And perhaps best of all? Toglia was able to keep the ball from his third jack, courtesy of right-hander Joel Peguero.
"It was really special to me," Toglia said of completing the feat. "And the ball I hit for the third one went right into the bullpen and my roommate [Peguero] caught it, so he gave it to me after the game. That was pretty cool."
Peguero must have been ready to catch a potential homer, because Toglia was smoking the ball all night. He registered the top three exit velocities of the game -- 104.5, 106.6 and 110.5 mph -- as well as the top two distances at 422 and 451 feet.
It was the latest feat for the 24-year-old, who has enjoyed a number of strong performances since being called up to the Minors’ highest level on Aug. 9.
Toglia saw his Triple-A OPS rise to 1.189 after his fifth multihit performance in his past 10 games. He’s clubbed seven long balls since being promoted, four in the past two games.
Records are meant to be broke, and @MichaelToglia just broke one.— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) August 28, 2022
We have now homered in 17-straight—a new franchise record!
E2: Isotopes 1, Express 0 pic.twitter.com/mlJ7ksvRMT
"A couple of months ago, I made an approach shift," Toglia said. "It took some time for that adjustment to really settle in. I had to struggle quite a bit with it, and then it sort of just clicked at the start of the month. I've just been running with it."
That change in approach was on full display. Toglia’s first dinger, a solo shot to center field went an estimated 451 feet. He drilled another homer to right in his next at-bat -- this one rocketed off the bat at 110 mph -- giving him two long balls in two innings to secure his third multihomer game of the season.
But the switch-hitter wasn’t done. Sitting at 29 dingers when he stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, Toglia was eager to add another milestone to his ledger.
Just as he did when he launched his second homer, the 2019 first-round Draft pick worked a 2-2 count before turning on a pitch over the heart of the plate, sending it far over the wall. After fouling a ball off his foot on the previous pitch, Toglia knew he was getting a fastball, and he knew what he wanted to do with it.
"Honestly, at that point, yeah, I was kind of trying to hit a home run," Toglia laughed. "What did I have to lose? I had never done it in my career before, might as well try to get one."
It’s the first three-homer game for Albuquerque since Taylor Motter completed the feat on July 24, 2021 and the 11th time a player has hit for the trifecta in the club's 19-year history.
Stephanie Sheehan is an contributor for MiLB.com.