World Series

Guardians rookie loses bat in 1st career at-bat, then homers on next pitch

Guardians rookie loses bat in 1st career at-bat, then homers on next pitch

Jhonkensy Noel had a fun first at-bat. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Many rookies have made their MLB debuts this season, but none were as eventful as the first at-bat of Cleveland Guardians prospect Jhonkensy Noel.

Facing Baltimore Orioles starter Grayson Rodriguez in the second inning on Wednesday, Noel held off from the first pitch for ball 1. Then came a 97 mph fastball in the zone that Noel foul-tipped, and lost his bat in the process. As in, it slipped out of his hands.

That fun moment got even better on the next pitch, when Noel clobbered another 97 mph fastball into the home bullpen at Camden Yards.

Among those watching was the Guardian's Triple-A team in Columbus, which spent a rain delay watching their recent teammate open his MLB career with a homer.

That's a first career hit and home run for Noel, who finished the day 1-for-4 with that homer and two strikeouts. The Orioles won 4-2, however, as Rodriguez recovered from the home run to throw seven innings with two earned runs allowed.

Noel is ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the Cleveland system by MLB Pipeline, with his power naturally rated as his best tool. Before his call-up, he was hitting .295/.359/.578 with 18 homers in 65 games for Columbus.


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