Ten months after his ill-fated MLB debut, and two days after his first plate appearance, Dustin Fowler finally collected the first hit of his big league career on Friday. The hit came against his old team, the Yankees, who drafted him out of high school in 2013. In an even more amazing coincidence it also came off Sonny Gray, the star pitcher for whom he was traded last summer.
Fowler debuted last season on June 29, but suffered a season-ending injury in the 1st inning and never got to bat. New York then traded him to Oakland a month later. He finally got back to the majors when the A’s called him up on Wednesday, and he got his long-awaited first plate appearance later that afternoon — it resulted in a lineout off Astros reliever Will Harris.
Two days later, Fowler made his first start for the A’s, batting ninth and playing CF. He struck out his first time up, but then in the 4th inning he lined a singe into right-center field. As an extra bonus, his hit moved a runner up from second base to third, setting up an RBI groundout later in the frame that otherwise would probably not have happened.
That was the only hit Fowler notched on the evening, but later on he did get to score his first run as well. After grounding out in the 5th and 7th, he hit one more grounder in the 9th. The Yankees went for a force play at second but botched it, failing to get anyone out. The next batter, Marcus Semien, doubled to left to clear the bases. Fowler’s speed has been in question since his severe knee injury last year, so seeing him score easily from first base is yet another sign suggesting his wheels are intact.
On the other side of the ball Fowler played CF, but he wasn’t asked to do much beyond a few routine catches. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to get a gauge on his defensive prowess, whether up the middle or otherwise.
Welcome to the lineup Dustin, and congrats on your big day! Check out his post-game comments below.
Fowler talks about his first big league hit ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/zbcUHzdOrY— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) May 12, 2018
P.S. His family was stoked!