Adam Engel makes robbing homers a habit at Guaranteed Rate Field
CHICAGO – From now on, when a ball is hit deep into the outfield where he’s playing, you’ll never assume it’s a homer.
Adam Engel has put that doubt into potential round trippers for a while thanks to a memorable six games at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Not once, not twice, but three times the White Sox outfielder took home runs away from his opponent – two coming against the Yankees and one against the Indians on Sunday. The incredible leaping grabs were featured on highlight shows throughout the country, and turned Engel into a star for the past week.
Even he was a little taken a back by it – especially the shot to even make those plays in such close proximity.
“The chances of there being three balls in one week that you have an opportunity to go up and bring back is, I feel like, slim,” said Engel of the catches. “It’s cool that it happened and I’m glad I was able to make my plays for the pitchers.”
Engle’s first catch cam against the Yankees on Tuesday night when he robbed Greg Bird of a potential homer deep in left-center field. The next night he took a homer away from New York’s Kyle Higashioka in an even better effort.
His best might have come on Sunday, when he took away a homer in the eighth inning when he reached his glove about a foot over the wall to snag the ball from Jason Kipnis.
For a third time, he took off his cap, and took a waved his hat towards the fans who cheered him. They needed to, since Engel’s catchers were the best part of a homestand where the White Sox lost five-of-six games.
“It’s a lot of hugging. I feel like I’ve gotten hugs from all three guys,” said Engel when asked about the reaction of the pitchers to the catches he made to save them from giving up homers. “So I know they appreciate it and that’s why we do it.”
But how does he do it? There’s no secret or pattern or player that Engel tried to pattern himself after when he goes to the wall. The plays he’s made with the White Sox, specifically this week, are more organic.
“Early you find the wall, and then you have a pretty good idea of where the wall is at, and when you elevate, you just try to watch it into your glove,” said Engel of his method for the catches. “It’s a lot of fun. Anytime you can help the pitcher out, it just gets the team, it gives the team the confidence, a little momentum.”
Perhaps most importantly, something positive to a team that’s in need of it during a rough rebuilding season.