During the Cardinals' 10-3 win over the Rockies on Thursday afternoon at Coors Field, a little known rookie for St. Louis did something Albert Pujols-esque.
Rangel Ravelo is a 27-year-old first baseman who has spent the last decade in the minor leagues. Similar to the way Cardinals outfielder Jose Martinez toiled in the lower levels of professional baseball for years before ever getting a crack at the big leagues, Ravelo has spent time playing for minors affiliates of the White Sox, Athletics and Cardinals since 2010, never receiving an MLB at-bat until this season.
Ravelo's numbers for St. Louis in a small sample of opportunities this season have been uninspiring. In 27 his plate appearances for St Louis prior to Thursday's game, Ravelo had a .231 batting average and pedestrian .682 OPS.
Needless to say, he was among the least likely sources to evoke memories of one of the greatest Cardinals of all-time. And yet, standing in against Wentzville Holt graduate Tim Melville on Thursday, that's exactly what Ravelo did.
After the previous pitch got away from Melville, nearly hitting Ravelo in the head and knocking him to the ground, the Cardinals first baseman teed off on a center-cut pitch for the longest home run by a Cardinal of the Statcast era.
Ravelo's 487-foot blast in the top of the second inning made it 3-1 Cardinals, and was the second longest home run in MLB this season. It was quite majestic:
487 FEET! After the previous pitch nearly hits him in the head, Rangel Ravelo gets revenge by hitting an absolute moonshot.The #STLCards are on FSMW and FSGO right now. #TimeToFly pic.twitter.com/ReTWQnPS5B— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) September 12, 2019
The moment allowed us to reminisce about Pujols, who was better than anyone at making pitchers pay dearly for coming inside with a knockdown pitch. Perhaps the most famous instance of this was when Pujols created some Fourth of July fireworks against Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood at Wrigley Field back in 2003. Mike Shannon had an all-time classic call of that one that is definitely worth revisiting, courtesy of KMOX:
Ravelo may not have Pujols pedigree, but he certainly pulled a Pujols Thursday afternoon.