6/30/2014 11:50 P.M. ET
Lookouts' Sweeney homers in three straight at-bats
Double-A Chattanooga slugger finishes doubleheader 5-for-8 with five RBIs
By Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
The Dodgers' No. 19 prospect, Darnell Sweeney, homered in three consecutive plate appearances during Monday's doubleheader, which Double-A Chattanooga split with Birmingham. The Lookouts lost the first game, 12-10, but rallied late for a 5-3 victory in the second.
Sweeney hit home runs in the sixth and eighth innings of the opener and homered again to lead off the bottom of the first in the nightcap. His streak ended when he struck out in the third inning.
Sweeney combined to go 5-for-8 with three home runs, two doubles, four runs and five RBIs on the day.
The first game of the day was the completion of Sunday's matchup, which was suspended in the third inning due to rain. Sweeney had doubled and struck out before the rain arrived. When the game resumed Monday, he doubled in his first plate appearance before beginning his home run streak.
Sweeney leads the Southern League in hits with 97 and his .323 batting average ranks second, trailing only Cubs No. 2 prospect Kris Bryant, who was promoted to Triple-A Iowa two weeks ago. Sweeney ranks near the top of the leaderboard in several other offensive categories, including on-base percentage (.411), OPS (.945) and runs (57).
Defensively, Sweeney has split his time between second base and shortstop throughout his career. But in the first game of the doubleheader, he played outfield for the first time, starting in center. He returned to second base in Monday's nightcap. If he is asked to play the outfield more often, his above-average speed could help him cover ground well and eventually develop into a solid defender.