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Bonifacio makes Major League debut

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Royals prospect Jorge Bonifacio made his Major League debut Friday in a 6-2 loss to the Rangers. He started in right field and batted eighth on the same day he was called up from Triple-A Omaha in an effort to boost Kansas City's lagging offense.

He got a quick test when Rangers center fielder Carlos Gomez lined a shot to right field that Bonifacio caught for the first out of the game for the Royals. Bonifacio went 0-for-3 at the plate. 

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ARLINGTON -- Royals prospect Jorge Bonifacio made his Major League debut Friday in a 6-2 loss to the Rangers. He started in right field and batted eighth on the same day he was called up from Triple-A Omaha in an effort to boost Kansas City's lagging offense.

He got a quick test when Rangers center fielder Carlos Gomez lined a shot to right field that Bonifacio caught for the first out of the game for the Royals. Bonifacio went 0-for-3 at the plate. 

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Bonifacio, 23, is rated as the club's No. 12 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, and has been in the organization since signing in 2009 as a non-drafted free agent. He hit .314 with two doubles, two triples, three homers and 12 RBIs in his 13 games with Omaha this season.

"The thing that he's doing well down there is he's not striking out a bunch -- he's putting the ball in play, which is a good thing," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He had a great spring [last year], a good year in Omaha, he had a great spring this year. He's ready for his opportunity. He's a good player, he's got power, he puts the ball in play, hits the ball to all fields, and he's a solid outfielder."

Bonifacio struck out 130 times in 495 at-bats for Omaha last season while hitting 19 homers and collecting 86 RBIs. This year, he has only struck out eight times in 51 at-bats.

Bonifacio is the younger brother of journeyman utility player Emilio Bonifacio, who plays for the Braves and has played with eight teams in 11 MLB seasons. Emilio, who turns 32 on Sunday, was the first call Jorge made when he got the news of coming to the Majors.

"I was waiting for this time a long time," Jorge said. "I called him last night, and he was, I think, more excited than me. He's older than me, and he knows how it feels … told me, it's the same baseball, just a different level. Play your game and do the best you can."

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington, Texas, and covered the Royals on Friday.

Kansas City Royals, Jorge Bonifacio