MLB is the perfect example that dreams do come true if one is willing to work and make sacrifices. New York Yankees reliever Brooks Kriske was stuck in Class A Staten Island as recently as two years ago, wondering if he could make it past that level and maybe reach the bigs someday in the distant future.
Fast forward the two years and, as incredible as it may sound, Kriske can say he is a major leaguer with the New York Yankees, no less. He made his debut this week at Camden Yards against the Baltimore Orioles in a Bombers’ 9-3 victory, and it was a clean appearance.
In one inning of work, the righty retired three of the four batters he faced. He allowed no hits but conceded a mere walk, striking out two foes in the process. The 26-year-old is now part of the rich Yankees’ history.
“I was never going to quit,” Kriske said to MLB.com. “We get one shot at this and I think most of us are kind of wired the same way — we’re not going to quit. I definitely went into 2019 not sure if I was going to make it through Spring Training. I was getting older and I kind of felt like I was on my last legs. I gave it my all that offseason and it paid off.”
The Yankees’ secret strikeout weapon
Kriske was selected by the Yankees in the 2016 MLB draft, out of the University of Southern California. During his time in the minor leagues, he routinely ran strikeout rates over 10.00 K/9 (as high as 12.04), suggesting that he had bat-missing ability and that he had a future in the bigs.
On Wednesday, he forgot to ask for the ball of his first strikeout, but Yankees’ teammate Gerrit Cole presented him with the lineup card as a keepsake.
“There’s a lot of friends and family congratulating me,” said Kriske, who said that his immediate family members were watching from Arizona. “It’s really cool. It’s people that have been part of this journey with me. They say it takes a village and I’ve been lucky to have a lot of people in my corner.”