Seth Lugo was given the opportunity to start for the Puerto Rico Wbc team on Friday night. The New York Mets prospect has pitched in the major leagues, but this was still arguably the biggest stage he has ever pitched on. Instead of cowering under the pressure, however, the young pitcher shone brighter than he ever had before.

Incredible start

Being named the starter of the opening game for Puerto Rico in the WBC was an honor for Lugo, and one he surely wasn't going to take lightly. When he went up to pitch against Venezuela on Friday night, he validated his selection in no time.

He threw 65 pitches in 5.1 innings, 40 for strikes. He struck out just three batters, but nobody on his team probably cared about that, since he also gave up just one hit and zero runs.

His effort went on to be valuable in an 11-0 rout of Venezuela. Lugo gave credit to St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina for calling a good game from the behind the plate. His curveball was spinning quickly, helping him to retire the first 11 batters he faced. While he was born and raised in Louisiana, his connection to Puerto Rico is strong and he proved he belonged with the team in the WBC on Friday.

Interesting year ahead

Before Lugo begins to consider the MLB regular season, he still has a ways to go in the WBC.

Puerto Rico is 1-0 so far in the tournament, and another win will likely get the team into the next round of the tournament. Their next game will be on Sunday afternoon against Italy. If the veteran squad is going to make it far, they will have to rely on their young developing ace.

Speaking of which, he may be making some inroads with the Mets with his WBC performance.

The team has a loaded pitching staff, but one that also has many injury concerns to handle. Lugo doesn't neccessarily have a spot in the rotation to open the season - he'll likely compete with Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler for starting spots - but his time in Puerto Rico could prove to be invaluable to his major league career this season.