I will never forget Wednesday, July 25, 2018. It was the most insane, most dramatic, most eye-opening Major League Baseball game I have ever gotten to witness in my life. One of the reasons for that was because I witnessed an absolutely insane play by Raimel Tapia. He has grown to be one of my very favorite outfielders in the game.
Raimel was signed as an international free agent in 2010, the year he turned sixteen. He progressed quickly through the minor leagues. Some of his awards include a Topps Pioneer Player of the Year in 2013 and was the 97th best prospect in all of baseball the following year. 97 might not sound impressive at first, but there are many, many prospects in the sport, so 97 is actually pretty good. I’m impressed with that start. Raimel was proving his place early on.
One of my favorite memories was when he hit a walk-off single versus San Francisco in June of 2017, during Father’s Day weekend. The Rockies started out well, but the bullpen had a really bad day and caused San Francisco to catch up. I was genuinely worried because it broke my heart to see the team in that state. Luckily Raimel let us know you can’t keep a good team down and walked it off. I was pleased as punch. That was a fairy tale ending to a barbarically wild game.
I am still in shock and awe from his insane July 2018 play courtesy of Nolan Arenado’s pop-out. I was so transfixed on Houston’s J.D. Davis making an insane catch that nearly sent him head-first into the Astros dugout that I did not see Raimel run like the wind to home plate. It was only when I looked up at the Rockies’s scoreboard that reality had set in. Never before have I seen such an odd play. Nolan gets out, Raimel runs home, and it was still counted as a Run Batted In. It makes no sense, but what matters most is that it was a beautiful play.
That is only one of the examples of how well 2018 treated him. He also was the fastest designated hitter that year, running over 28 and a half feet per second. With speed like that, it’s no wonder he was able to score that insane run against Houston and build up to Charlie Blackmon’s walk-off home run. The Rockies made a very wise decision to sign him, in my opinion.
Another reason why 2018 was amazing to Raimel is because of his grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks. I really like grand slams. They are less common than other types of home runs, which make them extremely fascinating. Not only that, but he’s proving to be one of the most amazing offensive outfielders on the team.
I will forever remember Raimel’s Memorial Day walk-off against Arizona. I was really excited when Ian Desmond hit what I thought was a walk-off home run, but it was a double instead. I was irritated because I literally saw the ball bounce into home run territory. I wanted the game to be over so I could enjoy some beer can chicken and crescent rolls for my Memorial Day dinner.
That’s where Raimel came in to save the day. He hit a walk-off single to finish the eleventh inning, and the game. Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3. Love that for them. It was an amazing way to start the four-game series, and I was able to enjoy my dinner happily. This human truly is an amazing and integral part of the organization.
I really and truly hope that Raimel gets into the All-Star Game soon. He has proven time and time again that he is a truly gifted player who deserves to play in the annual game where the best of the best face off. If he does get in, I will happily be a “Vote for Raimel” ambassador. Absolutely amazing player.
He also is very deserving of a Silver Slugger award, in my opinion. He’s been batting so well as of late and he’s come in and helped his team very much. I can only see things go up for him. He’s got a great career ahead of him.
I also am grateful for how he’s taking care of his home country of the Dominican Republic during the coronavirus pandemic. The Rockies posted photos on Twitter of him delivering basic needs to and checking in on his neighbors. He gains 149,318 brownie points for that alone. That is seriously so selfless and sugar sweet of him to do.
All in all, Raimel Tapia is an amazing player and humble human. He plays the game and helps his fellow man con mucho swagger.
Charlie Blackmon, Rockies walk off against Astros