Two Dutchies debuted in MLB spring training today. The Atlanta Braves added Ray-Patrick Didder from Aruba today and he debuted immediately. The 22-year old will start his fourth season in professional baseball in 2017. Juremi Profar debuted with the Texas Rangers as he started the game at shortstop after being added to the roster yesterday.
One would expect that Ozhaino Albies would be used, but the Braves are very careful with him. Instead, they called up Didder, who played for the Rome Braves of the Sally League (South Atlantic League) in 2016 and hit a decent .274. Didder, whose full name is Ray-Patrick Elijah Khalil Didder, entered today’s game vs the Detroit Tigers.
Didder started his professional career as an infielder like he is mentioned in the transactions overview, but in the past two seasons, he played as an outfielder, like he was used in today’s game as well.
His fielding percentage as an outfielder has been rather consistent as he posted a fielding percentage of .979 in 2015 and 2016.
Ray-Patrick Didder broke into professional baseball in 2013 when he played for the DSL Braves. One year later he climbed up to the Gulf Coast League. In 2015 he filled the void that Ozhaino Albies left in Danville as he was promoted to Rome (A-Full season).
In the sixth inning of today’s game, Didder entered as a defensive substitution in center field. In his sole at bat (in the eighth inning), Didder grounded out 5-3.
After being added to the MLB roster yesterday, another player from the Dutch Kingdom, Juremi Profar, debuted with the Texas Rangers vs the Cleveland Indians today. Normally a minor league player enters a spring training game when the MLB players are done. Not so with Juremi Profar. The younger brother of Jurickson was the starting shortstop for the Texas Rangers today. And what a debut he had.
Not only did Juremi make his debut, he also batted second in the lineup. He lived up to the expectations in his first at bat as he tripled on a line drive to right field. Eventually he crossed home plate on a two run homerun by Nomar Mazara. In his second at bat, Juremi popped out to first base.
In his third at bat he hit the first pitch that he saw, which was a bit high and outside the strike zone, but was called out on batter interference.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Juremi was replaced. In the four innings that he played at shortstop, he did not have a chance to show his fielding skills as no ball was hit into his direction.