Boog Powell has only played in nine games for the Águilas Cibaeñas, and already fans have caught Boog Fever:
This year, our own Manny Acta is acting as the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Águilas, and he brought the outfielder along to a roster that features several ties to past, present, and future Mariners: pitchers Forrest Snow, Al Albuqurque, and Andrew Kittredge are all on the staff, as well as ex-Mariner Roenis Elías. The team is managed by Félix Fermín, whose baseball card I still have in a drawer somewhere.
In Powell’s first game back in organized baseball after sitting out the last 75 in the States for testing positive for a banned substance, the 23-year-old went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in a winning effort. Here’s how the next eight games went:
- 10/21: 1-for-3
- 10/22: 3-for-4, SB (also a run-saving throw home)
- 10/23: 0-for-3, BB
- 10/24: 1-for-5, SB
- 10/26: 2-for-4, BB, SB
- 10/27: 0-for-2, 3 BB
- 10/28: 2-for-4, SB
- 10/30: 2-for-4, RBI triple
Powell’s triple was part of a four-run 8th that pushed the Águilas past the Leones del Escogido and helped buoy the spirits of Águilas fans, as the team is off to a disappointing 4-5 start. Baseball is a big deal in the Dominican, which accounts for the largest share of all foreign-born MLB players despite being the size of West Virginia, and the LIDOM is one of the oldest leagues, dating back to the early 1900s. There’s a lot of pride at stake, making Boog’s slash line of .394/.487/.455 a welcome sight, which probably helps account for the starring role he plays on the Aguilas’ Instagram page. His nine-game on-base streak is popular on Twitter, too:
(That’s Spanish for “C the Z,” if you didn’t catch those cognates.)
It’s important to note that the quality of pitching in the Dominican Leagues isn’t quite as challenging as MLB or even AAA (for example, of the pitchers on the Águilas’ roster, only Elías is on his team’s 40-man), but Boog’s performance is encouraging nonetheless. And at the very least, he’ll come back to the States with a brand-new fanbase. That is...if they let him:
Escondanle el pasaporte en una caja fuerte a boog powell ❤❤❤❤❤— Miguel E. Aracena (@MiguelAracena) October 27, 2016
So if Boog doesn’t report to Spring Training, at least we know where to start looking.