How Do Players Who Homer in First MLB At-Bat Fare Later in Careers?

How Do Players Who Homer in First MLB At-Bat Fare Later in Careers?
By Cecil Peters
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The New York Mets’ second-ranked prospect, Brett Baty, was called up to make his MLB debut on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves. He made it an extremely memorable one.

Baty hit a home run in his first career at-bat. The two-run shot helped set the tone for the game that the Mets eventually won, 9-7, which kept them 4 1/2 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East race.

As much as the great debut helped the club, it also set the tone for what Baty and New York hope will be a distinguished career for the 22-year-old third baseman.

While the debut was indeed impressive, Baty certainly was not the first player in MLB history to go deep on his first at-bat. In fact, he becomes the 133rd player to accomplish the feat.

Some familiar names in the same exclusive club to folks familiar with New York sports betting are Baty’s teammate, Starling Marte, and New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge.

Other prominent active names are Jurickson Profar, Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras.

Does a HR in First At-Bat Ensure Stardom?

EmpireStakes.com wondered if players who connect with a home run on their first at-bat go on to great careers.

So we took a look.

EmpireStakes.com utilized BaseballAlamanac.com to gather the corresponding players who hit a first home run with their first at-bat. We then used FanGraphs.com to gather 
the statistics of each player from 2010-19 to see the average season of one of these players.

The 2010-19 range was chosen to keep it in a modern era but allow for enough sample size for players in the MLB. All pitchers were eliminated from the pool due to the nature of the exercise.

Here are the 17 players, many familiar to fans who use New York sports betting apps:

  • Jurickson Profar
  • Eddie Rosario
  • Tyler Austin
  • Aaron Judge
  • Gerardo Parra
  • Jason Heyward
  • Starling Marte
  • Starlin Castro
  • Jorge Soler
  • Willson Contreras
  • Paul DeJong
  • Luke Hughes
  • Daniel Nava
  • JP Arencibia
  • Brandon Guyer
  • Zack Collins
  • Lane Thomas

This is the composite numbers that group amassed from 2010-19. Of course, players such as Marte and Judge are still going strong.

Avg.OBPHRRBIWAR
.233.32111401.25

As you can see, the average season over these players' careers includes 11 home runs,  40 RBI, a .233 batting average and a .321 on-base percentage. Overall, the average WAR (Wins Above Replacement) contribution for these players has been 1.25 per year, a solid number especially once you consider some of the lesser known players on the list.

Stick with EmpireStakes.com for interesting analysis pieces such as this as well as for the best New York sports betting promo codes.

What Might the Future Hold for Baty and Mets?

Having two teammates accomplish the same rare feat is something special, so for Baty to share that with Marte will provide a bond for the two. Ironically enough, Marte hit two home runs in Wednesday’s game, including one in the first inning before Baty even saw his first plate appearance. Talk about setting the table!

Marte is a career .289 hitter with 140 home runs and 555 RBI, a stat line the Mets would be happy to see from Baty.

Across town, Aaron Judge is perhaps the top player that Baty now can find himself mentioned alongside. Not only did Judge hit a home run on his first ever at-bat, he went through a stretch earlier this season in which it felt like he was hitting a bomb on every single at-bat he had.

Judge currently leads the MLB with a whopping 46 homers and has recently eclipsed 200 for his career to go along with 467 RBIs, a career that Baty and the Mets would be ecstatic for him to have.

FanDuel Sportsbook has Judge as the runaway favorite for AL MVP at odds of -650. New York bettors are prohibited for voting for individual awards, though.

Baty, the 12th overall pick in 2019, does profile as a future power hitter, with 19 home runs in 95 minor-league appearances this season.

With the excellent season the Mets are having, their eyes are more focused on the present than the future. Caesars Sportsbook New York lists the Mets as the fourth favorite in World Series odds at +475 and second (+230) to win the NL behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (+160).

While Baty might not contribute in a big way going forward this season, he is a massive part of their future.

After all, he is off to an amazing start.

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Contributors

Cecil Peters is a Senior Betting Analyst for EmpireStakes..com. A professional sports bettor in Canada, Cecil specializes in analyzing the latest odds impacting professional sports teams, with a focus on a league's favorite players and teams. In New York, that includes his specialty, the NHL, and the Rangers, Islanders and Sabres.

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