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Former Jumbo Shrimp Fortes Homers in Big League Debut

September 19, 2021 - Triple-A East League (AAA East) - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp News Release

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Former Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp catcher Nick Fortes hit a home run in his MLB debut Saturday for the Miami Marlins against the Pittsburgh Pirates from loanDepot park. Fortes follows fellow catcher Payton Henry, who debuted on Friday for Miami, as the second Jumbo Shrimp alumnus to debut in the majors in as many days. They are the first duo to debut as starting catchers on consecutive days since the St. Louis Browns' Joe Jenkins and Jack Enzenroth on April 30 and May 1, 1914.

By hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning off Pirates starter Bryse Wilson, Fortes became the eighth Marlin, including the fourth Marlins catcher, to hit a home run in his major league debut. Overall, Fortes finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs in a 6-3 Pirates win. His first hit was a single to center field in the third off Wilson.

A fourth-round pick by the Marlins in the 2018 draft out of the University of Mississippi, Fortes was promoted to Jacksonville on July 25 from Double-A Pensacola, where he hit .251/.338/.359 with 10 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 23 RBIs, 21 runs scored and five stolen bases in 57 games. Fortes played in 38 games with the Jumbo Shrimp prior to his promotion to the major leagues, slashing .237/.322/.378 with seven doubles, four homers, 21 RBIs and 16 runs scored.

A native of DeLand, Fla., Fortes starred at Ole Miss as a junior in 2018, earning All-SEC Second Team honors after batting .319 with 12 doubles, 11 home runs, 49 RBIs, 56 runs scored and a .519 slugging percentage. On the season, he struck out just 25 times compared to 46 walks and was also named the SEC Tournament MVP.

Fortes is the 10th Jacksonville alumnus to debut in the majors during the 2021 season and the 927th player to have played both in Jacksonville and in the majors over the history of Jacksonville Minor League Baseball, which dates back to 1904.

Jumbo Shrimp alumni who have made their major league debut in 2021 include Fortes and Henry, infielder José Devers (April 24, Marlins), right-hander Luis Madero (May 10, Marlins), right-hander Cody Poteet (May 12, Marlins), infielder Luis Marté (June 1, Marlins), right-hander Zach Thompson (June 7, Marlins), outfielder Brian Miller (July 31, Marlins), left-hander Sean Guenther (August 4, Marlins) and right-hander Edward Cabrera (August 25, Marlins).

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