Jake Cave, a former area high school baseball standout at Hampton Christian and Kecoughtan, was called up Saturday to play for the Minnesota Twins. A pro for seven years, Cave will be making his Major League Baseball regular-season debut.
Cave started seventh in the batting order and played center field Saturday night in the Twins' home game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He hit a two-run home run in his second at-bat after grounding into a forceout and scoring a run following his first MLB plate appearance. He played Friday night for the Twins' Triple-A affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., getting an RBI single in the Red Wings' 2-0 win over Pawtucket.
"I'm super excited," Cave told the Daily Press hours before his debut on Saturday. "I've been dreamin' about this day my whole life."
Apprentice School baseball coach Bryan Cave said his son then flew to Minnesota to join the Twins late Friday. Jake Cave, a 25-year-old outfielder, is batting .265 (35 for 132) this season with Rochester, with 17 RBI, 13 runs, seven doubles, a triple and a home run.
He is replacing former all-star Joe Mauer, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a cervical strain and concussion-like symptoms, the Twins announced.
Cave was selected by the New York Yankees in the sixth round of the 2011 draft and played most recently for that organization with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the International League. He was on the Yankees' 40-man roster this spring before he was traded in March to the Twins for minor-league right-handed pitcher Luis Gil.
Cave is the third player on his former area AAU ages 10-12 team, the Peninsula Pilots, to make the majors. Chad Pinder is in his third season as a utility player with the Oakland Athletics, while Kyle Crockett — appearing this weekend in Norfolk with Cincinnati's Triple-A affiliate, Louisville — has pitched several seasons for the Cleveland Indians.
"I was talking with Chris Pinder (Chad's dad) this morning, and we were talking about what an incredible feat it is for your son to make the majors," Bryan Cave said. "The odds are incredible.
"For three players from the same (youth) team to make it, that's just crazy."