For the first time since September 2017, Brent Honeywell has pitched in a professional game.
At one time Honeywell was among the top pitching prospects in all of baseball as he displayed a dazzling array of pitches, including an awe-inspiring screwball. He dominated during his appearance at the 2017 Futures Game and became the first pitcher to be given the Larry Doby Award, naming him the Futures Game MVP.
He was seemingly on the cusp of reaching the big leagues, it was all just a matter of when.
As the Rays fought for postseason contention during the dog days of the 2017 season, there was a lot of conversations held about Honeywell making an appearance at some point. However, an abysmal month of August for the big league squad dampened those hopes as they quickly fell out of the race and Honeywell was sidelined once the Triple-A season finished in early September.
Entering the 2018 season, Honeywell was among the candidates vying for a spot in the starting rotation to kick off the regular season. Unfortunately, those hopes were severely crushed when Honeywell felt a pop on his first pitch off of the mound. The diagnosis quickly came back as a torn UCL and that was that, Tommy John surgery was in his future.
That began that road that seemed never ending for Honeywell as he worked and rehabilitated his way back to the mound. In June, 2019, Honeywell was on the cusp of beginning a rehab assignment and then fate dealt him a fractured elbow that required another surgery. That was just the second and what ultimately would ultimately be four separate procedures that Honeywell had performed on his throwing arm.
That is all behind him now and he has finally reached the finish line on his four year long odyssey.
On Monday, March 22, 2021, Brent Honeywell finally pitched in a professional game against a team other than the Rays as he faced the Boston Red Sox in Port Charlotte.
His first pitch was a fastball that registered 95mph on the stadium radar guns, and the opposing hitter (Jarren Duran, pictured above), hit it on the ground straight to the first baseman Michael Brosseau. Honeywell dutifully ran over and covered first base and recorded the out.
Overall, Honeywell would walk a batter, allow a hit, and yield a run over an inning of work. Honeywell displayed several of the pitches that made him one of the game’s premier prospects, including devastating offspeed stuff:
Nice look at Honeywell's screwball-like CH pic.twitter.com/qodrNn3NCl— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) March 22, 2021
Following the performance, Honeywell spoke with the Rays sideline reporter Tricia Whitaker and the first words he spoke were about his disappointment about not retiring the side, 1-2-3.
"Honestly, I was expecting to go 1-2-3. Honestly."— FOX Sports Sun: Rays (@FOXSportsRays) March 22, 2021
Through the long layoff and multiple surgeries, Brent Honeywell Jr.'s confidence hasn't wavered!@TriciaWhitaker caught up with the @RaysBaseball righty after his one inning of work today to discuss his long road back! #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/4rFpNm3uv0
Ever the fierce competitor, Brent Honeywell is back and looked as dominant as ever.
Our first taste of Honey Day in 2021 was sweet.