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Breaking down Jaime Schultz’s historic debut

He became the first since 2014 to accomplish his debut feat

Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Jaime Schultz has often been overlooked due to his short stature on the mound, leading many to not regard him as a top prospect.

However, those who watch the young righty are often rewarded as he flashes an upper 90s fastball that blazes past opposing hitters, and he can drop in a superb breaking ball to help compliment his fastball, thus making him a dangerous weapon out of the bullpen for the Rays.

During Tuesday night’s game in Oakland, Schultz made his long awaited major league debut and didn’t disappoint, as he struck out the three hitters he faced. All three batters went down swinging as well, adding an extra exclamation mark on his already impressive feat. By striking out all three hitters he faced, Schultz became just the 16th pitcher in MLB history to strikeout out three hitters he faced during his debut, and the first pitcher since 2014 to do so.

So, check out the dominance.

His first pitch was a 95 mph fastball that painted the outside corner for a strike to Stephen Piscotty. Eventually the count reached 2-2, with Schultz targeting the outside corner during most of the at-bat. Sucre set up down low, but Schultz missed, as he reared back and threw a 96 mph fastball up and in to Piscotty, who swung through the pitch to give Schultz his first big league strikeout.

Longtime righty-mashing Ray, Matt Joyce, was the next one up on the chopping block. He fouled off a 96 mph fastball that was left in a bad spot by Schultz for strike one. Next, Schultz showed off his curveball, which was ranked as the best in the Rays system at one point in time, dropping it on the outside corner for a called strike. Schultz then tried to entice Joyce with a nasty curve that dropped out of the zone, but Joyce laid off to put the count at 1-2.

Schultz went back upstairs with the fourth pitch of the at-bat, reaching 98 mph and blowing a fastball through the swing of Joyce for strike three, the second out of the inning.

Batting third in the inning was Oakland’s catcher, Bruce Maxwell. Schultz started him off with a curveball, but he missed badly, as Sucre caught the pitch at eye level for a ball. Schultz went back to his heat and threw a 97 mph fastball — again up in the zone — past Bruce Maxwell, who lost his bat during his swinging strike to level the count at 1-1.

Schultz went back to the same pitch, and Maxwell again swung through it — holding onto the bat this time — for strike two.

With Maxwell looking up in the zone, Schultz went low and away, but Maxwell was able to foul off the 97 mph offering.

So, Schultz went back to what had been working for him and went right back to the same spot that Maxwell had swung through previously on two separate offerings. Schultz reached 97 mph and blew a fastball past the swing of Maxwell to strikeout the side, ending his major league debut in impressive fashion.

Jaime Schultz carved through three major league hitters, while not having strong command and barely utilizing his breaking stuff. His fastball were left out, over the plate, and hitters still had trouble picking the ball up.

The strikeouts were nice and Schultz did dominate, but he wasn’t even at his best. Once Schultz is able to harness his command, the Rays will have another legitimate high-leverage bullpen arm they can use at any time.