Tuesday night, Griffin Canning made his MLB debut for the Los Angeles Angels, thus becoming the 12th former member of the Wenatchee AppleSox to appear in an MLB game.
Canning, a member of the 2014 AppleSox, tossed four-plus innings in the Angels’ 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays last night. He allowed three runs (all earned) on four hits and one walk while striking out six batters across 4.1 innings.
Drafted 47th overall in the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Canning went 1-1 with a 1.61 ERA in five appearances (four starts) in his lone season with the AppleSox. In each of his final two starts with the AppleSox, June 2 and 11, Canning tossed six scoreless innings and struck out eight and 10 batters, respectively.
Canning joined the AppleSox prior to his freshman year at UCLA and carried that summer success to the Bruins. The righty went 19-13 with a 2.99 ERA in his three years with UCLA and was a Golden Spikes Semifinalist as a junior.
Following his debut, Canning’s teammates lauded the rookie when speaking to the media. Mike Trout said that Canning “obviously has got a lot of heart” and that his ceiling is “going to be unbelievable.”
Canning’s catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, also had high praise for his battery mate. While speaking to reporters after the game, the 10-year veteran backstop praised the rookie right-hander for calming his nerves after bouncing a few balls in his pregame bullpen session.
"Being blunt and honest, that’s probably one of the best debuts I’ve ever caught," Lucroy said. "I’m calling it right now -- I think he’s going to throw a lot better next time, which is pretty amazing because he threw pretty good tonight.”
Canning becomes the first former AppleSox player this season to make his major-league debut. He is also the most recent former member of the Sox to appear in an MLB game. Below is a list of AppleSox players who have appeared in an MLB game and when they made their debut.
Player Year of MLB Debut Year with AppleSox
Jason Hammel 2006 2001
Clayton Mortensen 2009 2005-06
Cole Gillespie 2010 2004
Tommy Milone 2011 2006
Steve Ames 2013 2008
Blaine Hardy 2014 2006
Chad Smith 2014 2008
Marco Gonzales 2014 2010
Trevor Brown 2015 2010
Pat Valaika 2016 2011
Zack Weiss 2018 2010
Griffin Canning 2019 2014