The New York Yankees’ first pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft, and one of the franchise’s best prospects this season, made his late-season debut with the Charleston RiverDogs on Monday.
Catcher Anthony Seigler joined the RiverDogs in time to play Monday’s road game against the Rome Braves, about 26 miles from where he grew up in Cartersville, Ga.
He went 0 for 3 at the plate, as the Braves bested the RiverDogs in a 1-0 contest. But it wasn't entirely his fault.
Seigler and the rest of the team faced 2015 Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, who threw in his first game since signing a one-year, $13 million deal with Atlanta last week. A member of the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros and two-time All-Star, Keuchel struck out nine in seven dominant shutout innings. He allowed just a single to Max Burt, the only RiverDogs hit of the game, and a walk to Canaan Smith.
The Braves won on a walk-off single by Derian Cruz with one out in the 10th inning to snap an eight-game losing streak. Henry Quintero scored the game-winning run after he started the inning on second. RiverDogs starter Luis Gil tossed seven shutout innings, striking out 10 and allowing just three hits and a walk.
Seigler was expected to start the season with Charleston, the Yankees’ low-level Class A club in the South Atlantic League. But a quad injury kept him in extended spring training until this point.
Last year, the ambidextrous hitter and thrower played in 24 games, netting a homer and nine RBIs while batting .266 in rookie ball.
Seigler’s arrival in the Holy City is a big deal for RiverDogs’ fans. He’s the first first-round draft pick to play here since Blake Rutherford, New York’s 2016 first round pick, played 71 games in Charleston.
And he’s the highest draft pick to play in Charleston since the 2004 No. 1 overall pick, Delmon Young, graced the Lowcountry with 131 games.
Seigler is currently the Yankees’ No. 6 prospect, according to the MLB Pipeline. That’s the second-highest ranking of a non-pitcher, behind former RiverDog Estevan Florial.
The catcher will help the RiverDogs wrap up their final seven games before the All-Star break, capping off the first half of the season. Heading into Monday, Charleston had a slim half-game lead in the Southern division. They will clinch a playoff seed if they maintain that lead through Sunday.