ST. PETERSBURG -- Jaycob Brugman thought he had experienced it all in what could have been best described as a whirlwind initial taste of the big leagues on Friday against the Rays.As it turned out, the second act was much sweeter for the Athletics' rookie outfielder.After going hitless in four
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jaycob Brugman thought he had experienced it all in what could have been best described as a whirlwind initial taste of the big leagues on Friday against the Rays.
As it turned out, the second act was much sweeter for the Athletics' rookie outfielder.
After going hitless in four at-bats and losing Steven Souza Jr.'s high fly ball in a left-field catwalk that dropped for a triple in his Major League debut, Brugman collected his first four career hits in Oakland's split of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader at Tropicana Field. He also walked and drove in a run in quirky fashion, squeezing a bunt that slowly trickled down the first-base line before stopping fair on the edge of the chalk in the A's 7-2 victory in the nightcap.
"It's great to get all of that early," said Brugman, the A's No. 21-ranked prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.
"Once you get the RBI and the first hit, everything seems to calm down a little bit."
Outside of a sparkling effort offensively, the 25-year-old flashed some leather to start Game 2. On a well-struck ball to left by Timothy Beckham and two aboard in the first inning, Brugman made a leaping grab at the warning track to take away what seemed to be a sure hit and preserve an early 1-1 tie.
"That was a hell of a play," manager Bob Melvin said. "When the ball was hit, I didn't think there was any way he was going to get to it. But he did."
A's first baseman Yonder Alonso, who collected seven hits in the twin bill, said he got to know Brugman during Spring Training. Right away, the veteran came away impressed.
"I was able to see the way he carried himself -- a true professional," Alonso said. "[Brugman is] a guy who's going to grind at-bats -- a guy who's going to put the ball in play. … I think during the long course of the year, with the experience and the older guys helping him out a little, it's going to be fun to see a guy like that."
If the first glimpse of him is any indication of what is to come, Alonso may just be right.
"I was just trying to get good at-bats up there and, for a while, you think you're never going to get a hit," Brugman said with a laugh. "I was just happy to get the one and just keep it rolling."
It is safe to say things rolled the right way for him -- in more ways than one.
Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.