The Detroit Tigers have signed Team Nicaragua standout pitcher Duque Hebbert after a brilliant World Baseball Classic performance. The tournament has already produced incredible moments, and now it has given us an incredible story that will stand the test of time. Seeing a relative unknown impress in a big game on a big stage get signed by an MLB team is something out of the movies.
Hebbert pitched against one of the best teams in the WBC, Team Dominican Republic. He managed to strike out three bona fide superstars in the game: Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez and Rafael Devers. They are three of the best offensive players alive. Anybody who can strike them out has something to contribute to a big league team, and the Tigers agreed.
Jomboy Media shared the incredible underdog story to Twitter.
This is a moment that all baseball fans can look at and celebrate. It is exactly what the World Baseball Classic is all about, growing the game and putting players on a bigger stage. Hebbert was likely not on the radar of any MLB team, and now everyone knows his name. He struck out three of the game’s biggest stars on a big start. That is one heck of an audition.
Pitching is incredibly valuable in the modern MLB, so teams looking to upgrade however they can isn’t surprising. The Houston Astros just won the World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies largely thanks to their pitching. The Detroit Tigers may not be approaching that stage anytime soon, but they are still constantly looking for ways to upgrade.
Baseball is the ultimate meritocracy in sports. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like, if you can play, you’ll get an opportunity. The World Baseball Classic highlights that, bringing in players of varying experience levels to compete on the same stage. Now, the Detroit Tigers have a new pitcher thanks to that premise.
The Tigers wasted no time in adding Duque Hebbert to their franchise when they saw what he could do.
Detroit Tigers won’t be the last team to sign a player based on World Baseball Classic success
The Tigers may have been first in line, but there will certainly be other surprises who prove themselves this tournament. Hebbert showed out against a top team and was rewarded for it.
The only way to identify these hidden gems are by watching the games, which every MLB team must be doing now.