Welcome to the Majors: 4/1/08

A whopping seven players made their major league debut yesterday. During the 2007 season, 211 players made their major league debut and this season we’ve already seen 16 new additions to the major leagues.

Christopher Tolbert got his first at-bat in the bottom of the 8th inning in a game that was already considerably out of hand. He grounded out and called it a day. Tolbert just made Aaron Gleeman’s list of top 40 Twins prospects and Gleeman believes he’s best suited as a utility man.

Brian Bass also made his debut with the Twins and struggled in the process allowing 3 hits and 2 runs including a home run in just 1.1 innings. He had some success in AAA last year as a starter and exhibited good control with 2.1 BB/9. He also appears to induce groundballs at a fairly high rate, which certainly doesn’t hurt.

Brian Barton pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th and singled in his only at-bat of the game. Barton was excellent this spring batting .351 with 2 home runs and 5 extra base hits. Future Redbirds did an excellent piece on him recently which has everything you would ever want to know about him, including his aerospace engineering degree.

Kyle McClellan pitched his first inning for the Cardinals in the top of the 6th and it was a perfect inning to boot. McClellan had an admirable spring striking out 12 in 13 innings of work while walking just 2. He was dominant in AA last year, so it will be interesting to see how he does in the majors. He’s someone to keep an eye on.

Rico Washington also made his debut with the Cardinals where he pinch hit in the bottom of the 5th. He performed quite will in AAA last year with an OPS of .914 and batting .333 this spring earned him his roster spot.

Jayson Nix got the start at second base for the Rockies and went hitless with two walks. Nix spent the past two seasons in AAA and showed decent power for a second-baseman with a .159 ISO. He won the starting job over Jeff Baker, Clint Barmes, Marcus Giles, and Ian Stewart with his solid defense and adequate plate skills.

Last but not least, Ramon Troncoso pitched two-thirds innings for the Dodgers last night in his first major league appearance. He only faced one batter and got him to ground into a double play. Troncoso displayed excellent strikeout abilities in high-A where he struck out 30 batters in 26 innings while only issuing 3 walks. His AA numbers were a bit more sobering, but he still performed pretty well.

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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

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