Opening day for Major League Baseball was this past Thursday, which means we’re likely to have a bunch of “Now Batting/Pitching For” worthy players in the next few days and weeks. Just today, actually, Kyle Drabek went seven innings for Toronto, walking three and allowing just one hit, so it’d be easy to say that he more than qualifies. Since Drabek got himself one of these when he was called up last season, though, I’m just gonna link to it and move along.
Today’s focus, then? San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt. Belt tore up three minor league levels last season, his first as a professional after being drafted in the fifth round in 2009, hitting a combined .352/.455/.620 with 23 homeruns, 112 RBI, and 22 stolen bases. The performance earned him a second place finish in our coveted MiLB Player of the Year award voting and the 23rd slot on Baseball America’s preseason Top 100, and the combination of a good spring and an injury to Cody Ross landed him on the Giants big league roster.
Belt has hit seventh in the first two Giants games this season, on the road against the Dodgers. He reached base in his first two plate appearances on Thursday, singling off Clayton Kershaw in the second inning and drawing a walk in the fifth. Then on Friday, his first major league homerun, a three-run shot off Chad Billingsley, gave the San Francisco a temporary 3-1 lead.
Photo: Bay Area Sports Guy