By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
JAMES Rolle and Warren Saunders have had an immediate impact on their respective clubs in their introduction to pro baseball.
Rolle, 17, made his debut with the Baltimore Orioles in the Dominican Summer League while Saunders made his first appearance with the New York Mets in the Gulf Coast League.
Through four games, Rolle is hitting .333 for the DSL Orioles2 in the Dominican Summer League.
After a hitless appearance in one plate appearance in the season opener, Rolle went 1-3 and got his first professional hit against the DSL Yankees.
He followed with a 2-4 outing against the Rockies and again went 2-4 against the Nationals in addition to scoring his first run.
Saunders, 20, is hitting .393 in his seven appearances for the GCL Mets thus far.
Four of his seven games were multi-hit performances, most recently a 2-4 night where he recorded his first RBI in a 12-3 win over the Nationals. He also went 3-4 and scored one run against the Marlins then went 3-4 against the Cardinals two days later.
Both players were products of the International Elite Sports Academy. Saunders signed with the Orioles in May while Saunders signed to the New York Mets in June 2018.
Calvin Maduro, Orioles international scout and pitching coach, said Rolle’s strong support system will be vital as he looks to progress in his pro career.
“When we were scouting James in the Dominican playing first base, we know he’s a strong big guy but he was making plays stretching and splitting at first base to the point where we were trying to figure out what is going on,” Maduro said.
“It’s not only that but the way he was playing the game is the way we want to see the game played. He shows what it takes to be on time. The one thing he can’t rush is the time it takes to get there.”
Cris Becerra, senior director of international scouting for the Mets, sent his regards and shared his excitement on the prospects of Saunders joining the organisation.
“When you first talk about Warren you talk about his size and athleticism, that stands out. Those are very important to us obviously as a baseball organisation, but more importantly than that, when you get to know the young man you find out he’s a tremendous individual,” he said.
“A very well-mannered young man with his head on straight. He will do tremendous things, not only in baseball but in life and that’s what this is all about.”