I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this is one of the best things about watching amateur baseball.
When a player is drafted, that’s pretty cool. When he moves up the chain in the minor leagues- that’s fun and exciting. But when the dream is realized- when that kid that we watched (and wrote about) four or five years ago makes his major league debut… that’s the best.
Last night, Vinnie Pasquantino realized his dream- he made his major league debut for the Kansas City Royals. Pasquantino played for Charlottesville in 2017, and since David Argo does such a great job with media for the team, here is part of what he wrote:
Pasquantino becomes the first Tom Sox player and 249th player in Valley League history to make it to MLB.
Pasquantino played three years at Old Dominion University under Head Coach Chris Finwood, where he was named a Freshman All-American in 2017 and First Team All-Conference USA in 2019. In his Monarch career, Pasquantino played in 141 games and hit .309 with 32 doubles, 24 home runs, and 115 RBI. His 16 homers in 2019 rank fifth in ODU’s single season record book.
Pasquantino joined the Tom Sox in 2017 off his freshman season at Old Dominion and put up one of the best seasons in Tom Sox history. In 38 games, he hit .337 with 14 doubles, five home runs, 29 runs, 37 RBI, a .934 OPS, and a 17-18 walk to strikeout ratio.
During his time in Charlottesville, Pasquantino was also one of the main leaders of a team that went on a historic run to the Tom Sox’s first Valley League Championship. He joined Old Dominion teammates Kyle Battle, Bryce Windham, and Will Morgan on the 2017 team alongside many Tom Sox greats including Michael Wielansky, Ari Sechopoulos, Rick Spiers, and Connor Gillispie; among many others.
Following his collegiate career, Pasquantino was drafted in the 11th round (319th overall) by the Kansas City Royals. He ascended quickly through the Royals organization, playing just 2 ½ years of minor league ball before being called up today. In the minors, Pasquantino had a career .293 average, 173 runs scored, 70 doubles, 56 home runs, and 204 RBI in 242 games. His 64 extra-base hits last season ranked seventh in all of MiLB. He has 67 RBI in 69 games this season, ranking second in all of professional baseball including MLB (Pete Alonso – 69 RBI in 73 games).
Pasquantino becomes the first Tom Sox player to be called up to MLB. He is the first of 27 Tom Sox draftees, and first of six from the 2017 team.
Pasquantino started at designated hitter for the Royals, and went 0-4 in his first major league game.
(Besides where Pasquantino stands in regards to the Charlottesville franchise, he was also one of the best hitters of the entire league. He is the second player from the 2017 hitters list to make the majors, following Winchester’s Cody Wilson.)