During the second game of the three-game series against the Oakland Athletics, Donovan Walton accomplished something for the first time in his MLB career. The third-time call-up went yard for the first time, hitting his first home run for the Mariners.
Normally, a prospect hitting their first home run would be the most exciting part of the day, especially when it is a three-run bomb that puts your team up 3-1. Instead, that ended up being overshadowed by the end of the game. It was still exciting for everyone who was able to watch or listen and deserves us taking a look at how Walton got to the majors.
This is the third year in a row that Donovan Walton has played in the majors for the Mariners.
Donovan Walton made his major league debut for the Mariners back in 2019, as he was one of the September callups. He only played in seven games but did notch his first career hit in his second game as a hitter. He would finish 3-16 before being sent back down after the season ended.
The second callup was similar to the first, albeit shorter. He was called up and played in the August 31st game, but his highlight of last season wouldn’t come until September 13th, when he hit a two-run double, the first double of his career, and would be a part of his first multi-rbi game, as he drove in three to propel the Mariners to a 7-3 win.
Heading into 2021, he was actually on the taxi squad for a while. This is a group of five guys that travel with the team, practicing with them, but not suiting up. He was activated as the “extra man” for the first doubleheader against Baltimore, but never found his way into game action, and would head back to the squad after.
The third time up in the majors has definitely been his longest and most successful stint so far. It started back on May 15th, when he would hit his first career triple, driving in two en route to the Mariners 7-3 win. No, not a typo, they won 7-3 just like last time I mentioned the outcome, only this one was against Cleveland instead of Arizona.
With a single, double, and triple all under his belt, there was only one thing left that Walton needed to accomplish. Heading to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, the Mariners were losing 0-1. JP Crawford and Jacob Nottingham were both on base. Once Walton was done, no one would be on base. Not because he ended the inning, but because for the first time in his career, he smashed a no-doubter over the right-field fence, hitting a hanging breaking ball about ten rows deep.
Congratulations to both the Mariners and Donovan Walton. We will remember their win for now, but Donovan Walton will never forget today as the one in which he hit his first home run.