Will Smith is a name that baseball fans will remember for a long time. The Texas Rangers catcher not only made his major league debut on Sunday, but he also hit his first career home run in the same game.
Smith, 26, was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday to replace the injured Jose Trevino. He had been hitting .278 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 23 games for the Express this season.
On Sunday, he got the start behind the plate and batted ninth against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Field. He wasted no time making an impression, as he launched a solo shot to left field in the third inning off Mariners starter Chris Flexen.
The ball traveled 402 feet and had an exit velocity of 104.4 mph, according to Statcast.
Smith became the first Rangers player to homer in his major league debut since Joey Gallo in 2015. He also became the first catcher in franchise history to accomplish that feat.
“It was awesome,” Smith said after the game. “I was just trying to put a good swing on it and help the team out. It was a great feeling.”. .
Smith also showed his defensive skills behind the dish, throwing out two runners attempting to steal second base. He caught J.P. Crawford in the first inning and Mitch Haniger in the fifth inning, both on pitches from Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz.
“He did a great job,” Foltynewicz said of Smith. “He was very calm and collected back there. He called a great game and threw out two guys. And then he hit a bomb.
That’s a pretty good debut.”
Smith’s teammates were thrilled for him as well, as they gave him a silent treatment in the dugout after his home run before mobbing him with hugs and high-fives.
“He’s a great kid,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said of Smith. “He works hard and he’s very humble. He’s been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and he took advantage of it.”.
Smith said he will cherish his debut for the rest of his life, especially since his parents and his fiancée were in attendance to witness it.
“It was a dream come true,” Smith said. “I’ve been working for this since I was a little kid. To have them here and share this moment with them was very special.”.
Smith will look to build on his memorable debut as he tries to earn more playing time with the Rangers. He said he’s ready for whatever role the team needs him to fill.
“I’m just here to help the team win,” Smith said. “Whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do it. I’m just grateful for this opportunity and I’m going to enjoy every second of it.”.
Final Thoughts: Will Smith’s Memorable Debut Sets Tone for Future Success
Will Smith’s debut with the Texas Rangers was nothing short of remarkable. Not only did he hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat, but he also showed off his defensive skills by throwing out two runners trying to steal second base.
Smith’s performance on Sunday was a promising sign for the Rangers, who have struggled this season.
Smith’s debut marked a significant milestone for the catcher and the Rangers. He became the first catcher in franchise history to homer in his debut and the first Rangers player to do so since Joey Gallo in 2015.
His defensive prowess behind the plate was also noteworthy, as he threw out two runners in his first game.
Smith’s success on Sunday is a testament to his hard work and dedication. He had been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, and he made the most of it.
His performance also speaks to the Rangers’ commitment to developing young talent and giving players like Smith a chance to shine.
While it’s too early to predict what Smith’s future holds, his debut suggests that he has a bright future ahead of him. He has shown that he has the talent and the work ethic to succeed at the Major League level.
If he can continue to build on his success and make the most of his opportunities, he could become a key part of the Rangers’ future.
Overall, Smith’s debut was a memorable one, and it’s one that Rangers fans won’t soon forget. It’s a promising sign for the team and for Smith’s future, and it sets the tone for what could be a successful career in the Major Leagues.