Team Nicaragua’s Duque Hebbert signs contract with Detroit Tigers after striking out trio of MLB stars
It’s… One! Two! Three strikeouts you’re in!
Team Nicaragua’s Duque Hebbert flipped the baseball world on its head Monday at the World Baseball Classic when he struck out three of Major League Baseball’s brightest stars in one inning. The feat, which happened during a 6-1 loss to the Dominican Republic, earned him a contract with the Detroit Tigers.
Hebbert, 21, took the mound at LoanDepot Park in Miami at the top of the ninth inning. First up was 2022 Home Run Derby champion Juan Soto. It only took Hebbert three pitches to get him out, the last of which was an 84 mph changeup that had Soto swinging so hard it brought him to his knee.
Next up was last year’s rookie sensation Julio Rodríguez. Hebbert had the pitch count even at 2-2 before forcing the slugger to swing at an 80 mph pitch that was just outside the strike zone.
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After Manny Machado hit a double, Hebbert’s last victim of the evening was Boston Red Sox star Rafael Devers. The two-time All-Star took the pitcher to a full count before giving a hearty swing at an 84 mph sinker to end the inning.
Nicaraguan pitcher Duque Hebbert struck out Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez and Rafael Devers in the 9th inning today.
A Tigers scout was there and now Hebbert is signed with the Tigers.
Amazing. 👏 @WBCBaseball pic.twitter.com/lhwWjl7LSh
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) March 13, 2023
The Nicaraguan national team shared the news on Twitter that Hebbert signed with the Tigers after the game. ESPN reports that Tigers scout Luis Molina was at the game and was the one who offered him a minor league contract.
“Congratulations, Duque!” Team Nicaragua said in Spanish with a photo of the pitcher holding up a baseball. “After Hebbert’s great performance against the Dominican Republic, he has signed with the @TigresdeDetroit. The entire team is proud of your great work.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nicaragua’s Duque Hebbert signs contract with Tigers after WBC outing
Source: Yahoo Sports