When players make their MLB debut, a hit or earned inning on the mound is a great day and a great start to a career. That’s all one could ask for.
For Milwaukee Brewers’ top prospect Sal Frelick, Saturday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves was filled with more moments than he probably thought when making his debut in front of family and friends.
An outfielder who ranks as the Brewers’ second-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Frelick finished his 3-for-3 debut from the plate with a crucial sacrifice fly that contributed to his first two RBIs, and had standout plays in right field that Brewers fans hope won’t stop coming in the near and distant future.
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The first moment of Frelick’s dream debut came when he swung to the plate after stepping up for his first at-bat. He was shifted into the infield, which worked in his favor as he threw one to third base and, hitting from the left side, rushed to first base for his first major league hit.
He may not have had the greatest exit velocity, but hey, a hit is a hit and it’s a moment Frelick will never forget. Brewers veteran leader Willy Adames made sure of that when he got the ball back for Frelick to keep forever.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg for Frelick, who singled in his next at-bat to lead off the bottom of the fifth. It was a groundout past Ronald Acuña Jr. in right field to leave him hitting 1,000 in the batting average column.
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However, the top of the sixth was when Frelick showcased his outfield skills with two terrific catches that wowed fans in the stands and at home.
Marcel Ozuna caught the barrel on a pitch from Adrian Houser that began to fly toward the right field fence. Ozuna, being a power hitter, jogged as if he thought he was going to run out of the yard.
But Frelick followed him the whole time and eventually leaped into the air, caught the ball and fell backward onto the warning track as the crowd at American Family Field erupted.
The camera caught an image of Frelick’s family and friends going wild with the local Brewers faithful. But they’d be screaming even more just two outs later when Orlando Arcia decided to throw one to right-center field in the same inning.
This time, Frelick had to get on his horse, run into the hole, and follow the ball all the way. Once he got to the wall, he jumped again, hit the padding and fell to the ground where his center fielder, Blake Perkins, was in shock at what was happening when Frelick made the catch to end the inning.
Frelick saved what could have possibly led to more Braves runs, and had a chance to trail the game 3–2 in the bottom of the sixth inning to get his first clutch hit for his team.
Of course, he complied.
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Frelick’s third at-bat was a single between shortstop and third base that scored Jesse Winker to tie the game at three apiece. And in the bottom of the eighth, Frelick rallied again, hitting a sacrifice fly to Acuña, who couldn’t get Adames out at the plate.
That fourth run for the Brewers ended up being the game-winner, and Frelick was showered with Gatorade and water jugs during his postgame interview because of those efforts. He gave the Brewers their 55th win of the season as they sit atop the NL Central standings.
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Frelick should continue to play more in the bigs after that debut, and could very well go on to give Milwaukee the jolt they’d love to see in the second half en route to the postseason.
With his performance, Frelick became the first Brewers rookie to have three or more hits and two RBIs in his MLB debut. He is also the sixth player in the past 25 seasons with three hits and a game-winning RBI in his debut, according to ESPN Stats & Info.