Rays' Wander Franco Launches Home Run in MLB Debut

Author:
Publish date:

Wander Franco, the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball, made his MLB debut for the Rays against the Red Sox on Tuesday night, and he did not disappoint. 

Trailing 5-2 at the bottom of the fifth inning, Franco's first hit was a home run on a fly ball to left field against Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez, allowing Kevin Kiermaier and Yandy Diaz to cross home plate in a three-run homer.

Franco is the Rays youngest player to hit a home run since B.J. Upton in 2004, per MLB Stats. He is also the youngest third baseman to homer in his MLB debut in MLB history at age 20, 113 days old. The previous youngest was Braves' Bob Horner who did it at 20, 314days old on June 16, 1978, according to ESPN Stats and Info. 

Franco batted second in the lineup and played third base in the game. Prior to the three-run homer, Franco fouled off Rodríguez's first two pitches in the bottom of the first before Rodríguez threw four balls and walked Franco. Franco later scored on Francisco Mejía's two-run single. 

Prior Rays players to hit a home run and walk in their MLB debut include Elijah Dukes (April 2, 2007) and Brent Abernathy (June 25, 2001). 

More MLB Coverage:

Odd-Year Magic? Why the Giants Are for Real
MLB Power Rankings: Rays, White Sox Fall as New No. 1 Emerges
Tragedy and Hope: An MLB Prospect, an MLB Scout and a Pop Fly
'A Game of Speech'—But Also, for Baseball Interpreters, so Much More