It isn’t everyday that in the first year of a player’s MLB regular season play that they hit five triples in the first seven games of the season. In fact, no one has ever done that, until now. The 29-year old outfielder for the Kansas City Royals, Paulo Orlando, has been on a tear ever since being brought up from the minor leagues after seven long years of proving himself worthy. No other hitter in MLB history has had more than three through seven regular season games.
To put things in a little more perspective, Orlando is just the third Brazilian player to make it to Major League Baseball in the history of the sport. Orlando, originally born in São Paulo, Brazil took up both baseball and soccer as a child. Then in his early teens he began to run track and field. He ran the 200-meter in 21 seconds and the 400-meter dash in 46.36 seconds while competing for the Brazilian Junior Olympic Team.
The Chicago White Sox had originally discovered Orlando in 2005. During the 2006 season within the White Sox system, he was named the fastest base runner and the best outfielder within their farm system in 2007. During his first five years, Orlando managed to steal a total of 123 bases.
Orlando was then traded to Kansas City in early August of 2008 and played within the Carolina League. He spent a few seasons in their farm system, and then after the end of the 2014 season was promoted to the Royals 40-man roster.
Paulo Orlando’s first major league hit came against Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks. According to sources, Orlando is the first born-and-raised Brazilian player to record a hit in an MLB game. After coming back to the dugout, manager Ned Yost could tell that Orlando was a bit emotional. “It was just great to see,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Then he hit that triple … you could see everyone in our dugout get excited for him.” Orlando was also approached by fellow outfielder and friend, Jarrod Dyson, while walking back through the dugout in tears. “It’s okay to cry…we all did it our first time” Dyson stated while reminiscing his first MLB hit.
With Alex Rios out right now with a broken hand, it seems that both Orlando and Dyson will be receiving more playing time than normal. Alex Gordon has also taken a couple days off, which also helps to get Orlando more at-bats and chances to prove himself in front of Kansas City fans. Royals fans are quite excited to continue to watch this new Brazilian track star tear through the base paths for their organization.