Escobar Makes MLB Debut with Pirates Saturday in Chicago
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - After having his contract recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis July 6 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, RHP Luis Escobar became the 87th former Power player to make his MLB debut Saturday afternoon against the Cubs in Chicago.
The Cartagena, Colombia, native turned in two scoreless frames of relief, surrendering just four hits and notching his first career strikeout in Pittsburgh's 10-4 loss to the Cubs.
Signed by the Pirates as a non-drafted free agent on July 8, 2013, out of Colombia, Escobar spent all of his inaugural season in 2014 and most of the 2015 campaign in rookie ball. He turned in a full year with the Short-Season West Virginia Black Bears in 2016 before navigating his way to West Virginia for the entire 2017 season. During his time with the Power, Escobar worked mostly in the starting rotation, posting a 10-7 record with a 3.89 ERA in 26 appearances (25 starts). Escobar tallied 168 strikeouts, which stands as the Power franchise record, and was selected to play in the 2017 Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game. The righty also snagged Baseball America Low-A All-Star honors that season.
Escobar split 2018 between High-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona, boasting an 11-6 record with a 4.14 ERA in 24 games. He began 2019 by earning a Mid-Season All-Star nod back in Bradenton, where he did not surrender a run across his 10 relief appearances before a mid-May promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis.
After he notched a 2-1 record and a 2.72 ERA with the Indians in 13 outings, Escobar received a bump to the big leagues, where he waited seven days before finally making his debut Saturday. The 23-year-old showcased a career 33-24 record with a 3.70 ERA and 472 strikeouts in 479.1 innings over 114 Minor League outings before his debut.
Escobar is the second former Power player from the 2017 roster to make his big league debut this season, joining RHP Geoff Hartlieb. He is also the ninth former Power player overall to debut this year, joining OFs Connor Joe and Harold Ramirez, INF Cole Tucker, LHP Taylor Hearn and RHPs Montana DuRapau, Mitch Keller and Dario Agrazal.
West Virginia returns home to start a seven-game homestand on Monday, July 15, beginning with a three game set against the Columbia Fireflies. The highlight of the homestand comes on Friday, July 19, with Faith and Family Night, presented by Mako Medical Laboratories and NewLife 94.5! Come experience a night of music, faith and baseball at the ballpark! Enjoy pregame concerts by Kyle Huffman, the winner of the NewLife 94.5 Power Factor competition, and Todd Agnew, as well as postgame fireworks, courtesy of TC Energy and Suddenlink! For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit www.wvpower.com.
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Pitcher Luis Escobar with the West Virginia Power
(Sam Santilli/West Virginia Power)
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