Another prospect hits three home runs

Another prospect hits three home runs

Alex Avila was due.

The 2008 fifth-round pick was in the midst of a 1-for-19 slump and hadn't homered in 13 games. But he busted the slump in a big way Friday, setting career highs with three homers and seven RBIs in the Erie SeaWolves' 16-3 rout of the Binghamton Mets.

Avila became the second Detroit farmhand in as many days to leave the yard three times, joining Toledo's Brent Clevlen, who performed the feat in Thursday's 18-1 International League victory over Syracuse.

The SeaWolves, however, bettered the Mud Hens' home run total by hitting seven, one more than Toledo managed in its lopsided win.

Friday's onslaught began when Avila lifted a three-run shot to left field in the first. He followed that with another three-run blast in second.

The 22-year-old catcher flied out in the fourth and struck out in the sixth before capping his 3-for-5 night with a solo homer in the eighth.

Former third-round pick Brennan Boesch was 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored, while Casper Wells, Ron Bourquin and Michael Bertram -- making his Double-A debut -- also added to the homer total.

It was the first multi-homer game of Avila's career, putting his impressive season back on track. The Eastern League All-Star -- he's also the son of Tigers vice president and assistant general manager Al Avila -- is hitting .282 with 11 homers, 23 doubles and 53 RBIs in 84 games for the SeaWolves.

The University of Alabama product spent his first professional season with Class A West Michigan, where he batted .305 with one homer, 14 doubles and 22 RBIs in 58 games. He skipped the Class A Advanced Florida State League this season and went straight to Double-A.

Mason Kelley is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.