The Rays love Kevin Kiermaier’s defense and he was rewarded with his first career start against the Cincinnati Reds, playing center field.
He went 0-4 at the plate with 2 strikeouts, although he was robbed of one hit on a hard groundball. But he will always remember his big league debut for this throw, nailing Joey Votto at the plate by a mile.
What’s great about this play is not the actual throw, which was on one hop and a little up the first base line (notice the radar gun actually clocked the throw at an unimpressive 55 mph).
What’s great is the jump he got on the ball and how he wasn’t afraid to charge the ball at full speed. A lot of outfielders will hesitate, unsure if the ball will take a bad bounce.
Not bad for a kid who was a 31st round draft pick less than four years ago.