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Good First Impressions

Orioles prospect called up to taxi squad, robs Nolan Arenado with ridiculous web gem in first inning of first major-league game

The story goes like this: In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Baltimore Orioles’ third-base prospect Rylan Bannon was sitting on his couch watching Netflix with his wife when his phone rang. On the other end was Triple-A Norfolk manger Buck Britton, who told Bannon he had been called up to the Orioles taxi squad and needed to get his butt to St. Louis STAT for the final two games of the team's series with the Cardinals.

The 26-year-old Bannon—an 8th-round pick by the Dodgers back in 2017—packed his bags and made it to Busch Stadium in time for Wednesday's game but didn't see the field. On Thursday, however, he was in the lineup for the series finale, his first-ever big-league appearance. That’s the kind of thing that can put a little jelly in the legs, but you wouldn’t have known if you were in attendance Thursday afternoon, when Bannon did this in his first-ever big-league defensive play.

First inning, first game, Nolan Arenado at the plate. You can’t script it any better than that. Occasionally you see a kid come up and knock one out in their first at-bat, but this is arguably more impressive. The play on the ball is tough but instinctual enough. There’s no time to overthink it, he just reacts. But Bannon then has the composure (and cannon) to pop up and fire one into first to beat Arenado, no slouch on the basepaths it should be said. Let's see Cinderella pull that one off.

Anyway, congrats to Bannon and congrats to Orioles fans. This is the kind of play that could kickstart an awesome season-long story for both. Or not. Who knows. But no matter how it shakes out, you have to stand up and tip your cap. Good on ya, kid. Now go snag another one.