USC Baseball Alumnus Lars Nootbaar Makes MLB Debut With St. Louis Cardinals
DETROIT, Mich. – USC baseball alum Lars Nootbaar made his Major League debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night in Detroit, becoming the 117th Trojan to play in the MLB.
Nootbaar, who played at USC from 2016-2018, was called up from AAA earlier in the day and started in left field against the Tigers. He was hitless at the plate, but drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
Some sac-flies are routine.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 23, 2021
The left-handed hitting outfielder was drafted by the Cardinals in the eighth round of the 2018 MLB Draft and steadily progressed through their system, reaching AA in 2019 and then playing all of 2021 with the AAA Memphis Redbirds. Through 22 games at Memphis this year, Nootbaar was slashing a red-hot .329/.430/.557, with five homers, 17 RBI and 17 runs scored. He was also a non-roster invitee to the Cardinals' spring training prior to the 2021 campaign. Through three minor league seasons, Nootbaar has posted a .261 batting average, with 14 homers, 15 doubles, three triples, 81 RBI and 70 runs scored.
In his three years at USC, Nootbaar hit .267, with 14 homers, 85 runs scored and 74 RBI. He posted his best season as a sophomore in 2017, earning All-Pac-12 honors after hitting .313 with a .929 OPS.
The Southern California native was a standout football and baseball recruit out of El Segundo HS prior to coming to USC. His brother, Nigel, also played baseball for the Trojans and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2014.
USC has produced 117 major leaguers over the years — more than any other NCAA program in the nation. Trojan alums boast 67 All-Star appearances, 29 World Series appearances, nine Cy Young awards, three Hall of Fame inductions, three Rookie of the Year Awards, one American League MVP and one World Series MVP.
Lars Nootbaar is a major leaguer! pic.twitter.com/Ff1UgRiQX7
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 22, 2021
Mike Shildt on Lars Nootbaar, who will start in left field and make his major league debut tonight: "We'll evaluate him as we go, and we're excited to have him on board." #STLFLY pic.twitter.com/w4H8jYjrhx
— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) June 22, 2021
— Springfield Cardinals (@Sgf_Cardinals) June 22, 2021
— Dan Hubbs (@DanHubbs40) June 22, 2021