Feature Photo: Ryan McMahon, 1B/3B, Rockies
After an almost silent start to August, the last two weeks have been chock full of some of the best prospects in baseball being called up … just off the top of your humble scribe’s head rolls out names like Rafael Devers, Amed Rosario, Ozzie Albies and Dominic Smith and that’s just for starters (or, more accurately, hitters).
Perhaps the most inspiring (and, dare I say, awesomely appropriate) debut of the week came on Saturday, August 12 (maybe the only really good news of the day, and likely overlooked in the hubbub) when just-shy-of-27-year-old right-hander Chris Rowley made a terrific debut as the starting and winning pitcher for the Blue Jays against the Pirates. You never heard of Rowley? Don’t be embarrassed. You’re not alone. After being signed out of West Point (aka the United States Military Academy, aka where the elite go to train to serve their country in the U.S. Army), Rowley had made a stunning but brief pro debut in the summer of 2013 before spending the next two-plus years deployed overseas to protect and defend. When he finished his active service (he’s still a member of the reserves, just in case, you know, we go to war), he resigned with the Jays and has been racking up the numbers with an assortment of off-speed stuff in 2016 and the first half of 2017.
Thank you, Chris Rowley. And, by the way, happy birthday and congratulations on a great debut! We here at 2080 Baseball salute you! You awesomely represented TWO countries on Saturday.
So, with just over two weeks to go before rosters expand to 40, let’s throw this question out there to our readership (and you can respond in the comments section here, or head over to our Facebook page and/or our Twitter feed (links at top) to answer):
Which prospect are you most looking forward to potentially making his MLB debut in 2017?
And … go.
Meanwhile, to do the happy recap (thank you, umpteen years of Mets radio broadcasts), the August 12 debuts of Rowley and Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon marked our seventh and eighth debuts in Week 19, bringing our 2017 tally to 189 players, compared to 185 debuts at this point in 2016 (the differential seems to be slowly shrinking each week).
With Rangers pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez, who has been waiting for the call to the mound since being brought up from Frisco on August 8, and Mets hurler Kevin McGowan, just summoned to the bigs on Sunday to fill the roster space left open when right fielder Jay Bruce was dealt away, we have two players “on deck” as we open Week 20, and we have just two weeks remaining before the floodgates open on September 1.
Buckle those seat belts, debutantes fans!!!
(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.)