Brian Dozier, the hottest hitter in baseball the last three months, has cooled off the last few days. So now, the hottest hitter in baseball is …

Hunter Renfroe holds the 2013 C Spire Ferriss Trophy. Credit: Missississippi Sports Hall of Fame

Another Mississippian: Hunter Renfroe, of Crystal Springs and Mississippi State.

Since being called up to the San Diego Padres last week, Renfroe, in seven games, has slammed four home runs, including Thursday night’s third inning blast that is to believed to be the longest in the 13-year history of Petco Park.

This is the way Dennis Lin, baseball writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, described Renfroe’s gargantuan home run in the first sentence of his game story: “If Petco Park had a roof, Hunter Renfroe might have blown it open.”

The ball landed on the roof of a metal supplies company 435 feet from home plate.

Renfroe had doubled in the first inning and drove in four runs in all in the 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It was almost like an encore performance. The night before, Renfroe drove in all seven Padre runs giving him 11 RBI in just two games. He is hitting .381 with a double, four home runs and 12 RBIs after being called up.

And that follows a Pacific League MVP season for the Padres Class AAA club in El Paso.

Many of us had questioned why the Padres were waiting so long to elevate Renfroe, who won the 2013 C Spire Ferriss Trophy.

Renfro has now put an exclamation point at the end of that question.


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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.