The Pittsburgh Pirates have struggled in recent years and it’s no surprise. Playing in the National League Central, the Pirates have to deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Chicago Cubs.
That’s a tough division right there. As a team, you have to bring your “A” game each and every night and there are no days off. For the Pirates, this team is looking to find its identity and establish itself as a prominent team in the league. Making the task even harder is the fact that they have to do it without the help of their best player, Ke’Bryan Hayes, who was placed on the 60-day IL on May 9.
One thing the Pirates can smile about is a young brother by the name of Troy Stokes Jr. Now let’s introduce Stokes Jr. to those who may not know who he is.
First and foremost, a tip of the cap to the young outfielder who made his first MLB start on May 11 against the Cincinnati Reds and boy, did he have a game to remember.
Ke'Bryan Hayes isn't the only #MLBbro contributing to the Pirates. @Troy_Stokes15 had his first two MLB hits and a couple RBI tonight. The former #TeamUSA alum brings electricity to the Pirates culture. https://t.co/6zR9G13zQF
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 12, 2021
He went 2-for-3 that game with two RBIs, a walk, and a stolen base. Stokes Jr. not only recorded his first MLB hit, but he also recorded his first multi-hit game the same night.
His performance helped the Pirates to a 7-2 win over the Reds and he was all smiles after the game.
“It’s funny but last night I really didn’t sleep,” said Stokes to The Toronto Star. “I’d be lying to say it didn’t weigh on me a little bit, but now that it’s over it feels great. Getting RBIs on both hits, that’s kind of like icing on the cake. I just wanted to get my first knock.”
The outfielder brought that energy Pirates fans wanted to see and he can provide it night in and night out. Before he recorded his first hit, Stokes Jr. went hitless in his first nine at-bats. Getting your first hit is a major accomplishment and Stokes Jr. was anxiously waiting for that time to come.
Now that the rookie got his first, he’s looking to make a name for himself.
Stokes Jr. was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Brewers.
On January 12, the Pirates made a move to claim Stokes Jr. off waivers from the Detroit Tigers. This was not big news to most, but for the Pirates, they were receiving a young and talented outfielder.
During spring training, Stokes Jr. impressed many and that led to him making the Opening Day roster. Standing 5-foot-9, Stokes Jr. is not the tallest player on the field but that does not stop him from going out there and playing at the highest level. There’s a reason the Pirates decided to sign him and he’s now in a position to show people what he’s all about.
And please don’t let the stats fool you. He’s only batting .167 with two hits on the season, but this guy can play and there’s a lot of season left. So make sure you keep tabs on our MLB bro and look for him to keep the candles lit and make a name for himself during his rookie season.