Thunder's Brandon Wagner enjoys being back home

Matt Leon
July 30, 2018 - 3:04 pm
Infielder Brandon Wagner hit 20 home runs this season for Single-A Tampa prior to his promotion to Double-A Trenton.

Matt Leon | KYW Newsradio

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TRENTON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — It has been quite the week for Brandon Wagner.

The Yankees prospect was recently promoted to the Double-A Trenton Thunder, which is extra special because Wagner is a Mercer County native who grew up in Hopewell and actually went to Thunder games growing up. 

Additionally on Saturday, Wagner's first Double-A RBI was a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Portland Sea Dogs.

"It's been a fun week," the 22-year-old infielder said prior to Sunday's game with Portland. "Getting called back up to home is something special. It's something I've been looking for since being drafted by the Yankees, is playing so close to home, just being surrounded by family and friends. It's pretty cool."

So far in five games in Trenton, Wagner is batting .250. He is staying with his family at home while he suits up for the Thunder.

"It's a little weird, just getting used to sleeping at home and waking up and going to the field," he said. "Especially in my own bed, it's a little strange. But it's good."

Wagner, who was drafted by the Yankees in the sixth round back in 2015 out of Howard Junior College in Texas, earned this promotion to Double-A by posting outstanding numbers for the High-A Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League. In 87 games this season with the Tarpons, he batted .270 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI. 

"In Tampa, my teammates ahead of me, they were getting on base a lot," he added of his success with the Tarpons. "Pitchers were forced into throwing fastballs and I was just taking advantage of that."

While the offensive numbers grab the headlines, Wagner, who plays all over the infield, said he isn't neglecting his glove.

"I've been working hard defensively all year," he said. "It's something that I really take pride in. Playing multiple positions, it can get hard, but I've got to put in the work for it."

Wagner and the Thunder open a series against the Phillies Double-A squad in Reading on Tuesday night.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @Mattleon1060.