Legends On Deck

Sims and Albies Make Big League Debuts

Tuesday night was a special night in Atlanta, Georgia and a very memorable one for two young ballplayers and their families. With the Atlanta Braves coming off a four game series that saw them get swept by their division rival Philadelphia Phillies and losing eight of their last nine games entering Tuesday night, the front office decided it was time for a little spark on the field. Two highly touted Braves farm hands were set to make their debuts in the show as the club returned home to SunTrust Park.

Former first round pick and Georgia native Lucas Sims got the much deserved start on the mound for the Braves. The 6’2 right hander out of Lawrenceville, Georgia had battled a ton of adversity since he was drafted by the Braves with the 21st overall pick in 2012. After being ranked in the top five of the Braves farm system during his first season, Sims seemingly dropped back in the prospect ranks year by year. He has endured high expectations, claims that he did not have what it takes to be a starter, injury, and even a bus crash.

Finally, five years after being drafted, Sims was set to make his debut in front his hometown supporters. It was no easy task as Sims was set to take on one of the deepest lineups in baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers coming to town.

Although Sims was given the loss, he did manage a quality start and showed that he has what it takes to battle big league hitters. He mowed through two innings where he allowed just two hits and had two strikeouts, including a beautiful strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play to end the second. The Dodgers would get a run in each of the next three innings before Sims shut them out in the sixth. The most encouraging aspect of Sims performance was the goose egg in the walks column.

It was an outstanding big league debut for Sims as he allowed 3 runs on six hits over six innings of work while striking out three and walking none. That is a line most veterans would be hard pressed to put up against this Dodgers lineup.

The other Brave making his big league debut comes from the other end of the spectrum. Always being ranked at the very top of the system since being signed out of Curacao in 2013, Ozzie Albies has made quite an impression throughout the minor league ranks all while being much younger than his typical competition.

Albies got the start at second base on Tuesday night and was slated to hit seventh in the batting order. He went 0/2 at the plate in his debut, but he did end up scoring one of the Braves only two runs on the night when he drew a walk before Johan Camargo’s two run homer.

With the 2017 playoff hopes now being a distant memory, it is time for Braves Country to once again focus on the future. Tuesday night was a big step in the right direction for the franchise.

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