Raul Mondesi 1st player to make big league debut in Series
NEW YORK (AP) Raul A. Mondesi made history when he came to the plate Friday night. He only wishes he’d made contact, too.
The 20-year-old Kansas City infielder became the first player to make his major league debut in the World Series, striking out as pinch-hitter during a 9-3 loss to the New York Mets in Game 3.
”It’s something big,” he said.
The Royals’ lead in the Series was cut to 2-1.
The son of All-Star outfielder Raul Mondesi, the youngster hit .243 with six homers and 33 RBIs this year at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. That’s the highest level he’d played in a pro ball, and he hadn’t been in a game that counted since Sept. 18 in the Texas League playoffs.
Being on this stage, was it overwhelming?
”No, normal, regular game,” he said.
Mondesi had kept sharp playing with minor leaguers and was added to Kansas City’s roster for the World Series. He pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot to lead off the fifth inning with the Royals trailing 5-3 and struck out on four pitches from Noah Syndergaard.
”I’ve been waiting for the first game, and it feels good,” he said.
With no designated hitter in the National League, Mondesi said he was prepared from the first inning.
”I got ready and got my chance,” he said.
Mondesi’s father was the 1994 NL Rookie of the Year with the Los Angeles Dodgers and an All-Star the following season. He played 13 seasons in the big leagues and reached the postseason three times but never appeared on a World Series roster.
Mondesi said he talked earlier in the day to his dad in the Dominican Republic.
”He said something like, `Be prepared,”’ he said. ”You’re going to have a chance to be in the World Series. I’ve never been in the World Series.”’
”He was laughing like that. It was incredible. And tonight, I got a chance to get an at-bat in the World Series,” he said.