Welcome to Major League Baseball, Wander Franco.
The top prospect in baseball made his long-awaited Rays debut on Tuesday night in an effort to help the team snap a six-game losing streak. Almost immediately, the move paid dividends.
Franco walked in his first plate appearance, but made a lot of noise in the fifth inning. With the Rays trailing 5-2, Franco hit a three-run homer off Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to tie the game.
Franco drove the slightly low slider 362 feet and helped Tampa Bay come from behind in a critical game against Boston. The Rays owned a half-game lead over the Red Sox atop the AL East entering play on Tuesday.
MORE: Four things to know about Rays prospect Wander Franco
The 20-year-old became the youngest player to homer in his first game since Jurickson Profar did so on Sept 2, 2012, with the Rangers.
Wander Franco is the youngest player (20y, 113d) to homer in his first career game since Jurickson Profar (19y, 195d) in 2012.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) June 23, 2021
He also is the youngest member of the Rays to homer since B.J. Upton in 2004.
The blast inspired many reactions from MLB Twitter, as fans and analysts alike were excited to see Franco deliver on the hype immediately.
So far tonight, Wander Franco has:
-The Rays’ two farthest-hit balls of the game
-Two of his team’s six hard-hit balls (95+ mph exit velo)
-The only walk issued by Eduardo Rodriguez
-Driven in or scored four of Tampa Bay’s five runs
— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) June 23, 2021
So Wander Franco is special….tell me something I didn’t already know
— Jody Alidor (@alidor_jody) June 23, 2021
Wander Franco is on pace for 89 Home Runs this year
— WANDER SZN (@WanderPlzWin) June 23, 2021
A disturbing new way to phrase trivia: Wander Franco has been alive 32 days longer than Albert Pujols has been a big leaguer
— Michael Baumann (@MichaelBaumann) June 23, 2021
15 of the 20 players in the starting lineups of tonight’s College World Series game between Virginia and Mississippi State are older than Wander Franco
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) June 23, 2021
Still not over the emotion from Wander Franco after this home run!!!! All of the elevated high fives!
Baseball is the best pic.twitter.com/mmky67IYiX
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) June 23, 2021