EVERETT — Michael Toglia, a Gig Harbor native, flashed the raw power to begin the series with a mammoth homer.
And the No. 23 overall pick in June’s draft showcased an advanced hitting approach in the finale of Boise’s three-game series with Everett, going 3-for-5 with four RBI to lead the Hawks to a 9-2 win over the AquaSox on Wednesday at Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“He comes with a good approach,” Boise manager Steve Soliz said. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders and a good idea of the hitter he is. He’s got a good idea of the strike zone, so any time you go up there with a good approach and a good understanding of the strike zone … he can put a charge in the ball. He’s a good hitter from both sides of the plate and he’s got some power as well.”
Toglia was taken in the first round by Colorado after a terrific junior campaign at UCLA, where the Gig Harbor High School product hit .314 with 17 homers, four triples and 16 doubles for the Bruins.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Toglia said. “To be ranked No. 1 13 straight weeks at UCLA to being knocked out before Omaha, to being drafted to being here and now I get to do the same thing I’ve been doing for years, but now there’s a paycheck behind it. It’s definitely been a roller coaster of emotions.”
In the three-game series with the AquaSox, Toglia went 4-for-12 with five RBI and a homer, which sailed over the protective netting beyond the fence in right-center field.
“I’m starting to feel better,” Toglia said. “It’s definitely an adjustment going from college to pro ball and the wood bat from the metal bat. But I think I’m starting to adjust to it well.”
The knock on Toglia was never his power, which he can flash from both sides of the plate as a switch hitter, nor his ability to play first base. But per a scouting report from MLB Pipeline:
“He’s shown huge raw power from both sides of the plate, with some scouts putting a 70 on his raw power, but there are some questions about his ability to make enough contact to tap into it consistently. He wasn’t comfortable in the box at the start of the season, but the streaky hitter was starting to put it together. Athletic enough to handle an outfield corner, he’s a plus defender at first who can save runs at the infield corner.”
He’s struck out 16 times in 11 games, but it hasn’t prevented him from reaching base often, as Toglia is sporting a .426 on-base percentage.
“He’s as advertised,” Solis said. “We knew we were going to get a plus defender and a plus hitter in the batter’s box, and so far from what I’ve seen he’s come as advertised.”
The three-game series against Everett brought some familiar faces into the crowd for Toglia. His grandparents, Angelo and Christine, and uncles, Michael and Nicholas, trekked up to Snohomish County to watch Toglia play on Wednesday.
Boise starter Eris Filpo picked up the win after he allowed two runs on five hits over six innings. The right-hander didn’t allow a hit until Cash Gladfelter’s two-out double in the fifth inning and didn’t allow a run until Utah Jones’ RBI fielder’s choice in the sixth.
AquaSox starter Kelvin Nunez was charged with the loss after he allowed four runs on five hits over three innings.
After two scoreless frames, the wheels started to fall off for Nunez in the third. He allowed three consecutive singles followed by a two-run double by Toglia.
Everett travels down to Eugene to start a six-game road trip on Thursday.