BOSTON (CBS) – There is always added excitement whenever a top prospect makes their major league debut for any club.
Xander Bogaerts got his turn on Tuesday, going 0-for-3 in Boston’s 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants. As with any exciting young player, the shortstop faces loads of hype and expectations as he begins his pro career, but so far the youngster has handled the challenge well — given the small sample.
His 0-for-3 showing has fans holding off on enshrining him in Cooperstown, which is probably a good thing, but a quiet debut isn’t completely out of the ordinary for a 20-year-old getting his first taste of the Majors.
Here are how some of the other famous Red Sox prospects fared in their debuts:
Ted Williams – April 20, 1939
“The Kid” made his debut on April 20, 1939 as the Red Sox opened their season in New York against the Yankees. Williams went 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. He would go on to record a hit in each of his first nine games, and finished the year with a .321 average, 31 home runs and an AL-best 145 RBIs in 149 games.
Carl Yastrzemski – April 11, 1961
Yaz played in 148 games as a rookie in 1961, debuting with a 1-for-5 showing with two strikeouts in a 5-2 loss against the Kansas City Athletics. Batting fifth, he lined a single to left in his first at-bat.
In 148 games, Yaz hit .266 with 11 home runs and 80 RBI as a rookie.
Carlton Fisk – September 18, 1969
Fisk appeared in just two games in 1969, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his MLB debut in a 6-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. He appeared in just one more game that season, going 0-for-1 with a strikeout, and wouldn’t play significant time with the Red Sox until 1972. But that year, he hit .293 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs as he made the All-Star team, won a Gold Glove, and won Rookie of the Year honors.
Dwight Evans – September 16, 1972
“Dewey” debuted as a pinch-runner for Reggie Smith in the sixth inning of a 10-0 win over the Cleveland Indians. He had one at-bat in the game in which he popped out. He actually took his lone at-bat out of turn following a slew of defensive replacements by then-Boston manager Eddie Kasko.
Fred Lynn – September 5, 1974
Lynn made his debut as a pinch runner in a 4-3 loss against the Milwaukee Brewers. He ran for Cecil Cooper in the bottom of the sixth inning, and flew out to second base in his first at-bat a few innings later.
Lynn clubbed his first hit a few nights later, hitting a solo home run and an RBI double in Milwaukee in a 9-5 loss.
As a rookie in 1975, Lynn hit .331 with 21 homers, 105 RBIs, 103 runs scored and 47 doubles. He became the first player to win both Rookie of the Year and MVP honors.
Jim Rice – August 19, 1974
Rice also made his major league debut in 1974, going 0-for-2 with an RBI and HBP in a 6-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on August 19. He had a fourth inning sac fly that scored Carl Yastrezemski to give Boston a 2-0 lead.
Rice hit .269 in 24 games in 1974, but made a much bigger impact in 1975, batting .309 with 22 homers and 102 RBIs. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Lynn.
Wade Boggs – April 10, 1982
What’s interesting about Boggs’ debut on April 10, 1982 isn’t that he went 0-for-4 at the dish, but that he began his Major League career as a first baseman. Boggs went on to hit .349 over 104 games that season, splitting time between first and third base.
Roger Clemens – May 15, 1984
Clemens started in his debut, earning a no-decision in a 7-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians. “The Rocket” gave up four earned runs off 11 hits, walking three and striking out four.
He struck out Mike Hargrove in the bottom of the first for his first career K, and picked up his first career win five days later when he struck out seven over seven innings of four-run ball against the Minnesota Twins.
Mike Greenwell – September 5, 1985
Greenwell started his career by pinch-running for Jim Rice in a 9-5 loss to the Indians. He didn’t get his first career at-bat until a week later, going 0-for-3 with a pair of K’s in a loss to the Brewers. He didn’t record his first major league hit until his eighth game, a game-winning, extra innings two-run homer against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
Ellis Burks – April 30, 1987
Burks began his 18-year baseball career by hitting ninth and playing center field for the Red Sox in an 11-2 loss in Seattle. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout that evening, but collected his first career hit the following night with a first inning double against the Angels, one of three hits he had in the game.
Sam Horn – July 25, 1987
Horn broke into the majors in a big way, crushing a two-run homer that proved to be the game-winning hit in a 11-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. DH-ing and hitting out of the five-hole, Horn took Scott Bankhead deep to break up a 5-5 tie.
Scott Cooper – September 5, 1990
There was high hope that the 1986 third-round pick was Boston’s third baseman of the future, but they also had a future Hall of Famer in Wade Boggs manning the hot corner. So Cooper had to wait.
Cooper made his debut as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of a 10-0 loss to the Athletics, striking out in his first big league at-bat and only plate appearance of that season. He finally got his break in 1992, spending most of the season at first base, and took over at third in 1993 when Boggs ditched town for New York.
Cooper was the lone Red Sox All-Star in 1993 and 1994 but was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1995 for reliever Rheal Cormier and outfielder Mark Whiten.
Mo Vaughn – June 27, 1991
Vaughn made his long-awaited debut by getting the start at first and batting sixth in an 8-0 loss to the New York Yankees. The slugger went 0-for-2 in his debut with a walk and a strikeout before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth.
“The Hit Dog” collected his first career hit the next night in Baltimore, singling in the fifth inning of a 9-3 win.
John Valentin – July 27, 1992
Valentin broke into the big leagues by getting the start in a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers. Batting ninth and playing short, Valentin went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.
Nomar Garciaparra – August 31, 1996
A 22-year-old Nomar went 0-for-1 in his MLB debut, lining out to left field in the top of the eighth in an 8-0 loss to the Athletics after replacing Jeff Frye at second the inning before.
The next night however, Garciaparra fever hit Red Sox fans as the shortstop went 3-for-5 at the dish with a home run (his first ML hit), two RBIs and two runs scored. He hit just .241 in 24 games in Boston that season, but won AL Rookie of the Year in 1997 after batting .306 with 30 homers, 98 RBIs and a Major League leading 11 triples.
Trot Nixon – September 21, 1996
Boston’s top pick in the 1993 draft – taken seventh overall –made his debut three years later as a pinch runner. Nixon stole second after running for Wilfredo Cordero in a 12-11 loss in New York, and started against the Yankees a week later – going 2-for-4 with a single in the bottom of the second (his first hit) and a double in a 6-5 Boston win.
Brian Rose – July 25, 1997
Though he would win 17 games and was named International League Pitcher of the Year while with the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1997, Rose will remember it as the year he made his Major Leauge debut.
The New Bedford native got a spot start in late July against the Angels, giving up four runs on five hits over three innings of work. He made 45 starts for Boston over the next three years, going 11-15, before being dealt to the Colorado Rockies.
Jonathan Papelbon – July 31, 2005
On a day that many will remember as the day Manny Ramirez almost got traded (part one of a trilogy), Jonathan Papelbon made his Major League debut.
Papelbon got the start against Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks in 5.1 innings. He struck out seven but got a no-decision, and was sent back down to Pawtucket for the next few weeks. He would make two more starts before making his way to the Boston bullpen, where he eventually thrived as the team’s closer.
Hanley Ramirez – September 20, 2005
While Ramirez was a highly anticipated prospect, his debut was anything but exciting. Hanley entered in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 15-2 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and struck out in his only at-bat. It was one of just two at-bats he would get with the Red Sox before being dealt to the Florida Marlins in a deal for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell a few months later.
Jon Lester – June 10, 2006
A 22-year-old Jon Lester got his first Major League start in June 2006, allowing three runs on five hits over 4.1 innings. Lester walked four and struck out four, earning a no-decision in a 7-4 Boston loss.
Lester spent the rest of his season in the Red Sox rotation, going 7-2, before leaving the team to undergo treatment for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Dustin Pedroia – August 22, 2006
Like Bogaerts, Perdoia made his debut with the Sox out west. Starting at shortstop, Pedroia went 1-for-3 in the nine-hole in a 4-3 loss to the Angels.
The next night, Pedroia was Boston’s starting second baseman, batting second.
Jacoby Ellsbury – June 30, 2007
Called up to fill in for an ailing Coco Crisp, Ellsbury went 1-for-4 in his debut against the Texas Rangers. He legged out an infield single for his first career hit, and would become a major contributor as Boston made their run to a World Series Title.
Most importantly, he won people free tacos with a steal in Game 2 of the World Series.
Clay Buchholz – August 17, 2007
It’s pretty hard to forget that Buchholz tossed a no-no in just his second Major League start, but it’s easy to forget he also won his first start.
With a double-header against the Angels on the docket, the Red Sox called up Clay Buchholz to start Game 1. He gave them six strong innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out five. Buchholz would make four starts in the final months of the season, going 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA.
Daniel Nava — June 12, 2010
Nava was no top prospect by any means, but when it comes to debuts he takes home the cake.
Nava had to wait until he was 27 to finally reach the majors, but he certainly made the most of it when he finally got his shot. Batting ninth and playing left against the Phillies, Nava came up for the first time as a major leaguer with the bases loaded. He swung at the first pitch he saw, and crushed it into the Fenway Park bullpen for a grand slam — becoming just the fourth player to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat, and second to hit one on the first pitch he saw.
When it comes to debuts, no one did it better than Daniel Nava.
Jose Iglesias — May 8, 2011
It’s fitting that Iglesias made his major league debut as a defensive replacement, taking over for Jed Lowrie at shortstop in the ninth inning of a Boston win over the Minnesota Twins.
The next night he took over for Lowrie as a pinch-runner in the 11th inning, and scored the game-winning run. He got the start at short a few nights later, going 0-for-3 at the plate.
Jackie Bradley Jr. — April 1, 2013
The story of spring training was whether Bradley Jr. would make the opening day roster despite not playing a single game in Triple-A. After an impressive spring, not only was Bradley on the roster but he was in the opening day lineup against the New York Yankees.
Batting eighth and playing left, Bradley Jr. went 0-for-2 at the plate with two runs scored, an RBI on a groundout in the top of the seventh, and three walks.