Who is Jorge Bonifacio?
On Wednesday, all eyes were on Casey Mize, the highly anticipated addition to the Tigers' starting rotation. Who could blame them? Even in college, Mize had the patience and command of an experienced professional.
Let's not forget that night was also the season debut for Jorge Bonifacio.
At only 16-years-old, Bonifacio signed with the Kansas City Royals as an international free agent in 2009. After bouncing around AA for a few years, Bonifacio was bumped up to Omaha AAA in 2016. According to Fansided's Mike Gillespie, the Santo Domingo native answered the call with his best all-around minor league season, "clubbing 19 homers, driving in 86, slashing and slashing .277/.351/.461."
Jorge Bonifacio received an invitation to play for the World Team in the 2016 Futures Game, where he played against current Tigers' Carson Fulmer, Christin Stewart, and Travis Demeritte.
The rising star experienced his major league debut on April 21, 2017. Soon after, precisely two days later, Bonifacio recorded his first major league hit and a home run against the Texas Rangers. In 113 games, the rookie hit 17 homers, 15 doubles, and secured 40 RBI's, ending the season with a .255 batting average.
2018 was not a pleasant year for Jorge Bonifacio. On March 18, he tested positive for boldenone, a derivative of testosterone initially developed for veterinary practice. Bonifacio served an 80 game suspension without pay for using the performance enhancement. The major leaguer returned to play in 69 games that season, however, dropped in productivity at the batter's box, sporting only a .225 BA.
Fast forward to the end of July in 2020. Bonifacio was placed into the hands of the Tigers Franchise. Unable to make the 30-Man Opening Day Roster, Bonifacio watched as Detroit moved forward with outfielder's Cameron Maybin, JaCoby Jones, Christin Stewart, and Victor Reyes.
After spending some time in Toledo, Bonifacio got the call to join the show to serve as depth for Harold Castro, who's on the 10-day injured list. On August 19, the 6'1 outfielder filled in the sixth spot for the Tigers lineup and played right-field in place of Cameron Maybin.
"I'm glad they are putting me right in the lineup," shared Bonifacio. "That way I don't have to think about it, just go out there and play."
The Tiger is set in the seventh spot for Detroit tonight behind JaCoby Jones as they take on the Cleveland Indians tonight at 7:10 PM EST.