When players make their MLB debut, one hit or one clean inning on the mound is a great day and a great start to a career. That’s all one could really ask for.
For Milwaukee Brewers top prospect Sal Frelick, Saturday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves was filled with more moments than he probably thought likely as he made his debut in front of family and friends.
Frelick, an outfielder who ranks as the Brewers’ second-best prospect per MLB Pipeline, finished his debut 3-for-3 from the plate with a crucial sacrifice fly that contributed to his first two RBIs, and had highlight-reel 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 check swung at the dish after stepping up for his first at-bat. He was shifted in the infield, which worked in his favor as he squirted one to third base and, hitting from the left side, quickly got to first base for his first big league hit.
It might not have had the biggest 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 it as he retrieved the ball 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 ground ball that went through to Ronald Acuna Jr. in right field to stay hitting 1.000 in the batting average column.
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The top of the sixth, though, was when Frelick showcased his skills in the outfield with two tremendous catches that had fans in awe in the stands and at home.
Marcel Ozuna caught barrel on an Adrian Houser pitch that began soaring to the right field fence. Ozuna, being a power hitter, was trotting like he thought it was going to leave the yard.
But Frelick was tracking it all the way, and eventually leaped in the air, caught the ball, and fell on his backside on the warning track as the American Family Field crowd erupted.
The camera caught a view of Frelick’s family and friends going nuts with the local Brewers faithful. But they’d be screaming even more just two outs later when Orlando Arcia decided to sky one to right center field in the same inning.
This time, Frelick had to get on his horse, sprinting toward the gap and tracking the ball all the way. Once he got to the wall, he jumped again, bashing into the padding and tumbling into the dirt where his center fielder, Blake Perkins, was even in shock with what was happening as Frelick made the catch to end the inning.
Frelick saved what could’ve possibly led to more Braves runs, and he had a chance down 3-2 in the game in the bottom of the sixth inning to come up with his first clutch hit for his team.
Of course, he delivered.
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Frelick’s third at-bat was a single through the shortstop and third base hole that scored Jesse Winker to tie the game at three apiece. And in the bottom of the eighth, Frelick came through again, lining a sacrifice fly to Acuna, who couldn’t throw out Adames 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 post-game interview because of those efforts. It 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 get more play in the bigs after that debut, and could very well continue providing Milwaukee with the jolt they’d love to see in the second half heading toward 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’s also the sixth player in the last 25 seasons with three hits and a game-winning RBI in his debut, per ESPN Stats & Info.