Justyn-Henry Malloy’s parents had an amazing reaction to their son’s rookie debut.

When the Tigers demoted Spencer Torkelson, they effectively conceded defeat after weeks of claiming they would let him work through his offensive struggles in the majors. This was a significant setback, as Torkelson, the first overall draft pick in 2020, was expected to be a key player for the franchise. Although he will undoubtedly return to the majors once he regains his form, he now faces a challenging road ahead.

Torkelson’s demotion made room on the roster for Justyn-Henry Malloy, the Tigers’ No. 6 prospect this year. Malloy, originally a sixth-round pick by the Braves in 2021, was acquired in 2022 in Scott Harris’ first trade for the Tigers, which sent reliever Joe Jiménez to Atlanta.

Malloy joined the team on the road in Texas, initially going hitless in his first seven at-bats over two games. However, in the third game, as the Tigers aimed to sweep the Rangers, Malloy showcased his patience and talent by hitting his first MLB home run and recording his first hit in one swing during the sixth inning.

His parents attended his debut series, and their reactions, especially his mom’s, to his first career home run were priceless.

Justyn-Henry Malloy’s first career hit for Tigers was a homer, and his parents were there to see it

Malloy’s home run was the only run the Tigers managed to score that night. Kenta Maeda exited the game after just two pitches, forcing Detroit into an unexpected bullpen game. The Rangers capitalized on reliever Joey Wentz’s struggles, scoring three runs in the first 2 2/3 innings. Texas starter José Ureña was flawless except for Malloy’s homer, and reliever David Robertson allowed the only other Tigers hit of the night, also by Malloy.

Despite the Tigers’ disappointing offensive performance on Wednesday, Malloy became the first player whose first hit was a home run since baseball’s No. 21 prospect Heston Kjerstad did it last season on Sept. 15. Hopefully, Malloy will be able to provide a much-needed offensive spark to the Tigers’ lineup that Torkelson wasn’t able to provide when he was still up.

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