Missed Wander's debut? Catch the highlights

June 23rd, 2021

Wander time arrived in a big way.

The No. 1 overall prospect in baseball made his highly anticipated debut in the Rays' 9-5 11-inning loss on Tuesday, batting second in the lineup and playing third base. He arrived to the ballpark in style and flashed a blue-patterned glove.

But Franco got it done on the field as well, showing off his all-around game while receiving a curtain call and hearing resounding chants of his name from the home crowd. Here is a recap of his exhilarating night.

Wander scores first run

Franco emerged from the dugout for his first MLB plate appearance to a rousing ovation from the crowd at Tropicana Field. He fouled off Eduardo Rodriguez's first two pitches to fall behind 0-2, but then watched four balls go by off the outside corner, showing impressive plate discipline to work a walk. Franco then came around to score on Francisco Mejía's two-run single.

Loud contact to center

Franco led off the bottom of the third and just got under a full-count pitch, drawing noise with a 96.4 mph, 370-foot drive that lost steam and was caught before the center-field warning track.

Wander's game-tying homer

Well, it only took two plate appearances before Franco showed everyone what the hype is about. After the Rays put a pair of men on to bring him up as the tying run in the fifth, Franco delivered with a 95.5 mph, 362-foot homer to left. Franco came back out for a well-deserved curtain call for the crowd.

Bat speed ... and foot speed

With the crowd still buzzing from his homer in the previous at-bat, Franco displayed his supreme bat speed again. He laced a 105.3 mph double to the left-field wall off Josh Taylor's 1-1 slider, prompting the Trop crowd to chant his name.

Don't sleep on the glove

Just in case anyone wasn't already dazzled by his work at the plate, Franco added a web gem for good measure. In a tie game in the top of the eighth, Franco scooped up Hunter Renfroe's grounder and made an athletic tag of Rafael Devers running in front of him before firing to first just in time for a double play.

Productive out

Franco came up with the go-ahead run on first base in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, setting up a perfect moment. But it was not to be -- after working a 3-1 count against Red Sox closer Matt Barnes, Franco tapped a knuckle curve weakly back to the mound. Franco advanced Yandy Díaz to second while grounding out.