Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Summertime Feel-Good Story: Talent and Class---That’s How the Giants Bring Them Up

Newly called up infielder Kelby Tomlinson was one hit away from tying Willie McCovey’s record of four consecutive hits from the start of their major league careers.  He hit a fly ball out to left field in the top of the sixth inning during last night’s 6-1 win over the Atlanta Braves, but his first three plate appearances were nothing short of impressive.

Two nights earlier, Tomlinson made his big league debut in the top of the 12th inning and calmly slapped a single to center field.  He later scored on a Buster Posey single that temporarily put the Giants up 8-7, but the Giants would lose this game in the bottom of the 12th on a two-run walk-off homer by Adonis Garcia.

After a night off, (where the Giants beat the Braves 8-3), Tomlinson received his first big league career start and in the top of the 2nd inning, (with two outs), the kid slapped an outside pitch to right field, collecting his second consecutive hit and his first two RBI’s, putting the Giants up 2-0.

Two innings later, (the top of the 4th), Tomlinson singled up the middle to drive in another run, putting the Giants up 3-0-----still hitting .1000 for his major league career.  After his next two plate appearances were unproductive outs, Tomlinson’s major league stats still look impressive---5 AB’s, 3-hits, 1-run scored, 3 RBIs, and a .600 average.

Drafted by the Giants in the 12th round of a June 2011 Amateur draft out of Texas Tech, Tomlinson finally got called up from AAA Sacramento after sporting a .316 batting average with 42 hits, 15 RBIs, and scoring 21 times in 33 games.  Defensively, his fielding percentage, (playing 2nd, 3rd, and SS over five seasons), is .964 in 462 games.

With Joe Panik out for a few more weeks, the utility infielder might just pile up some stats Willie McCovey would be proud of.  So far, the rest of his team-mates are happy to see the kid hitting a big-league stride while no one’s seen his speed on the base paths…..yet---rumors are he’s cat-like quick.  

To top off this story, Tomlinson dedicated his first MLB hit to Kaiser Carlile, the 9 year-old bat boy who died while getting struck in the head by a bat last week.  Tomlinson left a video message to Kaiser and the Carlile Family.  Tomlinson had previously played for the minor-league team where the accident occurred.   Now that’s class.

This story cross-posted at my FaceBook account.  

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