Last night was a good night for rookies making their MLB debut.
Starling Marte, a well-regarded prospect for the ascendant Pirates, instantly made an impact. By “instantly”, I mean literally the first pitch he saw, which he sent over the fence. He’s the first to do it since Kaz Matsui did it in his North American debut in 2004 (it was, in many ways, all downhill from there for Kaz Matsui).
That was impressive. Also impressive? Matt Harvey. The Mets pitcher, making his debut, struck out 11 and gave up three hits over 5 and 1/3, while going 2 for 2 with a double. That is one of the best debuts in memory for that number of innings pitched.
It has been a good year for rookies: Mike Trout might not simply be Rookie of the Year, he could be MVP. Bryce Harper has brought excitement to every game he’s been in, a madman on the bases who some have compared to Pete Rose for his hustle. Yu Darvish has adjusted very well to MLB, and Ryan Cook of the Athletics has been one of the main pieces of the Athletics bullpen.
It’s hard to remember when so many young players were coming into the league, especially so many rookies who have so much talent. Years from now, 2012 may go down as the year where a new generation of ballplayer began to arrive in the big leagues. Until then, though, it should just be a joy seeing how well these newcomers do.