KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The loss of Gleyber Torres to a sprained thumb made for an opportunity for Bronx native Andrew Velazquez. The 27-year-old starred at Fordham Prep and said he grew up...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The loss of Gleyber Torres to a sprained thumb made for an opportunity for Bronx native Andrew Velazquez.
The 27-year-old starred at Fordham Prep and said he grew up going to Yankee games.
“This is where my love for baseball began,” Velazquez said of the Yankees on Monday, shortly before starting at shortstop for the Yankees in a wild, 8-6, 11-inning win. “I’m looking forward to putting the uniform on.”
He ended up going hitless, but scoring a run and making several fine defensive plays at short before Rougned Odor pinch-hit for him in the 11th.
Velazquez is from the Morris Park section of The Bronx and was drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 draft by the Diamondbacks and reached the majors with the Rays in 2018 and then played 40 games with the Orioles in 2020 before signing with the Yankees this offseason.
“Just telling my parents I got activated was great,’’ Velazquez said. “I just want to help the team win. They’re rolling now.”
The switch-hitting Velazquez had been on the Yankees’ taxi squad in The Bronx after playing well for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Velazquez, whose favorite player was Derek Jeter, said Monday becoming a Yankee was something “I kind of felt I manifested since I was a child.”
He often went to games at Yankee Stadium.
“It kind of feels like my [MLB] debut again,’’ Velazquez said, who said after signing with the Yankees this past offseason that he knew he’d play for them someday.
“When I was in kindergarten [at St. Francis Xavier], I said I’d play in Yankee Stadium,’’ Velazquez said in January. “I’m gonna bust my ass to get there again.”
Aaron Boone noted that Velazquez hit well with SWB this season, where he had an OPS of .838 in 277 plate appearances- and liked his speed. Velazquez had 26 stolen bases in 29 attempts with SWB.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin