Christian Villanueva, welcome to the National League home run race. Nearly two months into the 2018 season, the rookie third baseman has yet to stop mashing.
Villanueva launched his 13th and 14th home runs this season, as San Diego rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Dodgers on Saturday night. He trails NL leader Bryce Harper by one and leads all MLB rookies.
"It's something I always dreamed of," Villanueva said. "To be up there on the board with those big names, it's pretty cool. It's awesome, especially after all the time it took me to get here, to be under the radar and knowing the work that I put in."
In other words: Those eight seasons spent toiling in the farm systems of the Rangers, Cubs and Padres? Worth it.
Saturday's effort put Villanueva's name in the Mexican baseball record books. He passed Geronimo Gil for the most home runs by a Mexico-born rookie in Major League history.
"It's really amazing," Villanueva said. "My son, I'm going to have things to tell him, stories to tell. So it's definitely special."
Christian Villanueva has 18 HR in 56 career MLB games.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) 27 de mayo de 2018
The first of Villanueva's blasts negated a two-run deficit in the top of the sixth. He turned around an 0-1 changeup from Dodgers starter Alex Wood and sent it into the left-field pavilion, tying the game at 5.
#MLB— Formación Especial (@FEBeisbol) 27 de mayo de 2018
Christian Villanueva sigue encendido con el madero y conecta su cuadrangular 13 y 14 de la temporada con los Padres de San Diego ante los Dodgers
Con esto el tapatío impone récord para un novato mexicano en las Grandes Ligas. ⚾️���� pic.twitter.com/XkPqS4Gtmt