When the Cleveland Guardians broke camp back in the spring, highly-touted prospect Gabriel Arias was perhaps the hardest guy to leave behind the Major League roster.
Arias had a fabulous spring and flashed some serious star-power in his bat.
The team was leaning into its youth and there was almost certainly a place for him here this year, but the Guardians wanted him to open the year in Triple-A.
It's been a slightly frustrating season for Arias, but he finally had a Major League celebratory moment on Wednesday night.
Trailing 1-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays in the bottom of the third inning, Arias unleashed a vicious, long home run deep into the left field bleachers to tie the game at 1-1.
Arias' first big league homer came off his bat at a scorching 108.5 mph, launching 403 feet half-way up the bleachers in straight away left field.
Arias was acquired as part of a 9-player trade with the San Diego Padres on August 31, 2020 (more commonly known as the Mike Clevinger trade). He's spent the majority of the year at Triple-A Columbus, but was on the injured list from May 2 - June 24 with a right hand fracture that required surgery to fix.
He was quickly called up to be the extra man for Cleveland's April 20th doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, and has otherwise joined the club briefly once this season.
Arias still figures to be part of their plan moving forward as Cleveland leans into it's young talented prospects. It certainly worked out well as the team won the AL Central here in 2022. Exactly how he fits in remains to be seen. He's a talented young guy. But fans at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario finally got to see the star power we've long heard about.
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