Royals’ prospect Eric Skoglund had a fantastic Major League debut for multiple reasons, one of which was thanks to Miguel Cabrera.
Kansas City Royals southpaw Eric Skoglund made his Major League debut on Tuesday night, and it could not have gone much better. The 24-year-old, ranked as the number three Royals prospect by MLB Prospect Watch, dominated the Detroit Tigers for 6.1 innings.
Skoglund’s impressive final line in his debut: 6.1 innings, two hits, zero runs, one walk and five strikeouts on 90 pitches.
Deservingly, he left to quite the ovation from the Kauffman Stadium crowd:
Skoglund’s brilliant pitching performance wasn’t the only reason he had to feel great about his debut. Future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera gave the young left-hander a simple yet memorable gesture prior to facing him, a thumbs up. Cameras captured the touching moment, which quickly spread throughout social media:
After seeing Skoglund pitch on Tuesday, Cabrera, and probably many other people, will be giving him more thumbs up.
Only two other Royals pitchers pitched more scoreless innings in their debuts: Rich Gale in 1978 and Derek Botelho in 1982.
The Royals drafted Skoglund, known as a finesse pitcher and consistent strike thrower, in the third round of the 2014 MLB Draft.
With ace Danny Duffy out as much as two months, Kansas City called Skoglund up to the Major League rotation after eight starts at Triple-A Omaha. Skoglund went 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA in those eight starts. He actually began the season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, making just one start before being promoted to the Triple-A club.
Despite pitching in Triple-A for just two months, Skoglund made his case Tuesday that he is ready for the big leagues. I’m sure Miguel Cabrera would agree.