The Debutantes Ball: MLB debuts for the week ending May 28

Sam Travis - Scottsdale Scorpions - 2015 Arizona Fall League (Bill Mitchell)

Feature Photo: Sam Travis, 1B, Red Sox

Remember to follow along with 2080 Baseball on Twitter (@2080Ball) and Facebook!


It was a relatively quiet and uneventful start of the week as far as the Debutantes Ball goes but it ended with a bang. Literally.

Once the holiday weekend rolled around, so did the deluge: on Saturday alone, four players were called up for the first time, including feel-good stories in veteran right-hander Arcenio Leon who joined the Tigers in his 13th minor league season and Cardinals right-handed John Brebbia, who spent two seasons keeping the hope alive in the independent American Association before signing with Arizona and almost immediately being swept up by St. Louis in the Minor League phase of the MLB Rule 5 Draft in December of 2015.

On Sunday, Brebbia not only made his debut, but welcomed yet another debutante into the Cardinals dugout, with whom his debut fate would become entwined. That day, infielder Paul DeJong (no relation to April debutante Chase De Jong (RHP, Mariners) who has a space in his name) not only joined the team but pinch-hit for Brebbia in the ninth inning of an 8-4 loss to the Rockies and became the 118th player in MLB history to hit a home run in his first at-bat.

By the end of the day on Sunday, with Week 8 in the books, with 11 players making their debut that week, our overall list of newly minted major leaguers reaches 80, as compared with 91 as of the end of Memorial Day weekend in 2016.

If we go by last year’s numbers, you can expect things to stay relatively calm for the rest of the summer (in 2016, we had 40 debuts in May compared to 30 – with three days left and one active potential debutante on deck),  30 in June, and 38 in July). August tends to get busy as lots of arm fatigue hits the big leagues and they scramble for reinforcements. And, of course, September practically equals April in terms of flurries of debuts as rosters expand to 40 players.

We also officially have a last team standing in the “are we EVER going to call up a debutante” race (aka “stop being a stick in the mud” race): The Diamondbacks were left in the dust on May 22 when the Astros purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Jordan Jankowski from Triple-A Fresno, becoming the 29th team this season to add a debutante to its active roster.

In a small coincidence (one that might not even register on a Richter Scale less sensitive than that of your humble scribe), the first player to make his MLB debut this week, Angels infielder Nolan Fontana, had actually come up through the Astros’ system (a second-round pick out of Florida in 2012) before being claimed off waivers by the Angels this past winter, as had our 13th year is a charm hero, the Tigers’ Leon.

Hmmmm. Interesting idea? Perhaps when we do our end-of-season roundup of all the trends and numbers, one might be a breakdown of the ORIGINAL organizations of all of our debs … feel free to share your opinions on whether that would be of interest to you at our Twitter feed, @2080Ball. We love to hear from you guys!


Click here to view our running table of major league debuts this season!


(Reminder! The MLB Debut table is also found by clicking the Spotlights Tab on our home page, and scrolling to the top sub-menu selection.)