Victor Roache couldn’t have done much more to make his much-anticipated professional baseball debut more memorable than it
turned out to be Sunday night, and the Brewers may be lucky that it was made as a member of their organization.
Moments before Milwaukee drafted Roache with the 28th overall selection in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, the 21-year-old was set to announce he was going to the Boston Red Sox three picks later.
“I ran into the kitchen to tell my mom, thinking I was going to Boston,” Roache said, “just to find out right after that Milwaukee actually took me.”
After a hamstring injury kept the Brewers first round selection in extended spring training in Arizona, Roache joined the Timber Rattlers three weeks into the season; unable to play last summer and fall because of a wrist injury that held him out for seven months, it made Sunday the professional debut for Roache.
On the second pitch he saw in his first at-bat, the 6-foot-2, 230 lb. outfielder launched a pitch well over the fence in left-center for a home run.
Welcome to the Brewers organization, Victor Roache.
“It was definitely not the thing I expected. I was just trying to put the barrel on the ball and get that first hit out of the way. Luckily, I was able to catch it pretty good and it went out.”
Thus, the legend was born, I guess.
Three innings later, he made the play of the game on defense, flipping over the wall in foul territory at full-bore while holding onto the ball. Known for his power bat, it showed another dimension of Roache’s game he’s been steadily working on.
“I thought I had more room than I did,” Roache said.
Well, the fact of the matter is that Victor Roache made room on that play. He landed hard on the concrete path on the opposite side of the fencing, saying after the game that his knee was still hurting “a little bit”.
He also walked and scored a run on a Clint Coulter sacrifice fly in the third inning to punctuate his debut.
There was much buzz around the Brewers organization upon hearing the news of Roache’s #AbsoluteBomb in the first inning, as expected. MLB.com ranked him as the Brewers seventh overall prospect before even appearing in a professional game. Much of this buzz was drawn from his achievements at Georgia Southern University; as a sophomore, he won Southern Conference Player of the Year after batting .326 and slugging 30 homers.
Any concerns over any possible loss of power in his swing after the surgery were put down by Roache, who doubles quick hands with impressive bat speed. His wrist, along with the hamstring that was banged up in late-March are “100 percent”, said the top power-hitting prospect in the 2012 draft.
Not only did Milwaukee add an elite prospect to the mix, but a consummate professional. At 21 years, Roache carries himself like a seasoned veteran, instantly bonding with teammates and fielding all questions with a upbeat vibe and a wide smile upon arrival to Wisconsin. Roache made a concerted effort to introduce himself to this 17-year-old reporter post-game, before fielding all questions. The first of many post-game interviews for The Legend to come, hopefully.
Roache joined a low class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers team featuring fellow 2012 first round picks Clint Coulter (27th overall) and Mitch Haniger (38th overall).
“Sitting out is tough when you want to play with these guys. You hate being injured, but it’s great playing again. It’s a great group of guys.”
The young group of Timber Rattlers have hopes of climbing up the organizational ladder together, with the ultimate goal in mind. Roache asserted that the only way to achieve these goals is to stay on the field and remain healthy.
Returning from those nagging injuries, Roache began his promising career in grand fashion on Sunday in Appleton.
Let’s be glad that his promising career will be for Milwaukee. And not Boston.