Pittsburgh Pirate prospect Jared Goedert joined the ranks of players who've homered against major league competition this week.
After he connected off veteran Boston Red Sox right-hander John Lackey, his three-run home run carried high over the left field wall into the bullpen in Pittsburgh's 16-6 loss to the Red Sox in spring training action Thursday afternoon at McKechnie Field in Brandenton, Fla.
For Goedert, who turns 28 in May, the clock is ticking on his chance to make the major leagues. An up-and-coming minor league prospect since 2006, he was on the brink of seeing action with the Cleveland Indians parent club more than once between 2010-12. But between injuries and bad luck, his big break never came.
Now, because of his off-season trade to the Pirates, he is hoping that a change of scenery — coupled with a high performance off-season workout regimen — will catapult his career to the top rung of pro baseball's ladder.
The son of former MLB prospect Joe Goedert of Hastings, the Concordia, Kan., native shared details about his milestone dinger with the Tribune during a telephone interview just minutes after Thursday's game in Florida.
"I was down 0-1 in the count, and he threw a curve ball and left it up a little bit," Goedert said. "I thought I hit it pretty well — that I had at least got it over the left fielder's head. I was happy to see it get out."
Family members have been supporting Goedert every step of the way, longing for years to see his name appear in a major league box score. News of his 103rd home run in pro ball — and first against a major league team — was celebrated across the miles locally.