PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ) — The the road to the MLB doesn’t often have a direct route from Altoona to Pittsburgh, but that has not been the case this season and nobody has taken advantage of that more than 23 year old outfielder Jack Suwinski.
“It was really surprising because you know it happened really fast so there was a lot of emotions,” said Suwinski. “You know it was a lot to process at first.”
Suwinski and the Curve were on their way to Akron when Manager Kieran Mattison got a phone call.
“It’s surreal like you’re seeing someone’s dreams come true.” said Mattison. “And I’m very grateful to be apart of that and just the excitement that the teammates had and celebrated went really fast and after Jack received the information you know he was in the lineup that night so his whole world just sped up really fast.”
Suwinski was hitting .353 with the Curve when the Pirates rolled the dice on their 30th ranked prospect, but he wasn’t exactly expected to stick around for the rest of the season.
“I think it was temporary and the way he went about his business and the at bats he was giving the ballclub was standing out and Jack is gonna go up there and compete,” Mattison said.
“Coming up, I wasn’t sure obviously so I was trying to take it day to day and be the best I can be and try and help the team win and that’s still my goal now,” said Suwinski.
But after a few games, Suwinski quietly proved he belonged in the MLB. In 69 games Jack has hit 14 home runs, or “Jack Jacks: as the Pirates broadcasters have coined them. He leads all NL rookies in long balls, but his arrival moment came on Father’s Day where he hit three home runs including a walk off homer.
“The first one I was like sick, my dad’s here it’s awesome and just to do what happened was incredible,” Suwinski said. “I’m just grateful that my dad was here and my family was here to share that with them.”
The transition from facing Double A pitching and Major League pithing is steep, but Suwinski is adjusting.
“Everyone here is really good all the time. The pitchers are super sharp and they’re really smart,” said Suwinski.”
Now he’s looking to provide hope to Pirates fans everywhere as “Young Bucs” like Suwinski, Oneil Cruz, and Roansy Contreras are proving they have bright futures.