Thursday, September 3, 2015

Rico Noel's Debut Places Yankees On Brink Of Tying 103-Year-Old Record For Rookies

By Barry Millman

For Rico Noel,  the 2015 season will be a memorable one for two debuts. 

The first came in a spring training game back in March when he stepped into the batter's box to face comic actor Will Ferrell in his pitching debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers

The second came Wednesday at Fenway Park in the bottom of the seventh inning when he entered the game to replace Carlos Beltran in right field for three outs and became the Yankees' 16th rookie to debut in a major league baseball game this season. 

That's the most debuts by far for any team in MLB and just one short of the Yankees' all-time season record of 17 set by the 1912 club.

Despite the minor stir created by manager Joe Girardi's decision to deny him his first big league at-bat,  Noel's 283 minor league stolen bases and strong defensive skills should assure him further late-game appearances before the season's over. 

LHP James Pazos is the last of the first wave of  Yankee callups with no prior MLB appearances and will tie the 103-year-old team record for debuts when he gets the call from the pen. 

2015 Yankees Major League Debuts To Date

April 11   Matt Tracy, 26   LHP   
24th round, 2011 amateur draft.

April 15   Branden Pinder, 26   RHP   
16th round, 2011 amateur draft.

May 20    Slade Heathcott, 24   Outfielder   
1st round, 2009 amateur draft.

May 25   Jacob Lindgren, 22   LHP   

2nd round, 2014 amateur draft.

May 30   Ramon Flores, 23    Outfielder   

Amateur free agent signed 2008.

June 12   Mason Williams, 23   Outfielder   

4th round, 2010 amateur draft. 

June 21   Danny Burawa, 26   RHP   

12th round, 2010 amateur draft.

June 21   Jose De Paula, 27   LHP   

Free agent signed 2014.   

June 22   Diego Moreno, 27   RHP   

Acquired as part of  A.J. Burnett trade 2012.

June 23   Nick Rumbelow, 23   RHP   

7th round, 2013 amateur draft.

July 11   Rob Refsnyder, 24   Second Baseman   

5th round, 2012 amateur draft.

July 29   Caleb Cotham, 27   RHP   

5th round, 2009 amateur draft.

July 30   Nick Goody, 24   RHP   

6th round, 2012 amateur draft.

August 5   Luis Severino, 21   RHP   

Amateur free agent signed 2011.

August 13   Greg Bird, 22   First Baseman    

5th round, 2011 amateur draft.   

September 2   Rico Noel, 26  Outfielder
Free agent signed 2015.

You can email Barry Millman at and follow him on Twitter at @nyyankeefanfore.