Feature Photo: Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox
(Photo courtesy of 365digitalphotography.com)
These are the times that make writing Debutantes Ball so much fun: When your first three debuts of the week arE:
–A 20-year-old power-hitting prospect who has been, without question, one of the most eagerly anticipated arrivals to the big leagues all summer.
–A 30-year-old veteran pitcher who signed 12 years ago, spent three seasons toiling in the independent Atlantic League hoping to make an impression, joins his fifth MLB organization via the MINOR LEAGUE PHASE OF THE 2016 MLB RULE 5 DRAFT, and gets the call and tosses a scoreless inning in his debut.
–A 22-year-old catcher-turned-pitcher who has not even completed his first full season on the mound who gets the call from Class A because his team just completed a six-player trade, trading away three pitchers and receiving two pitchers and an outfielder, but their new acquisitions had not yet arrived, and he was apparently the only rested arm close enough to get to the ballpark that day – to the point where his team played the game with a 24-man roster! – and he gets into the game and tosses a hitless inning!
And so many good stories!!! What a mix of great prospects, great stories, great numbers, sleepers, uber-prospects and everything in between.
And it just keeps on getting better after that. I love this job.
Good thing, too, because it was a busy week at the Debutantes Ball factory. At least comparatively. We saw 14 players make their big league debuts to bring our season total to 172 heading into Week 18.
For those of you keeping track, we did not reach 172 players in 2016 until August 6, and through July 31 had seen just 162 players debut. Keep in mind that we saw 50 – that’s right, 50 – players make their debuts after rosters expanded on September 1.
But enough of my babble. Go read about them yourself!
(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.)