Jacoby Jones wasn't an obvious choice to start the season in center field for the detroit tigers. The 24-year old only made his debut for the team with a month to go in the 2016 regular season. He showed how talented he is on his team's Opening Day, though, making an immediate impact with one sweet swing during his first at-bat.

Strong season debut

With two runners on in the top of the second inning, JaCoby Jones came to the plate. There was already one out and the Tigers trailed the Chicago White Sox 1-0 in their Opening Day game after it was rained out on Monday. On a 2-2 count, the outfielder saw a slow moving pitch (79 MPH) and swung for the fences.

It sailed far over the left field wall, leaving the center fielder feeling exuberant as he rounded the bases for the first time in his career.

Jones, hitting eighth in the batting order, didn't have too much success in his following two at-bats during the game, but it didn't matter. With one swing of the bat, he proved that the Tigers made the right decision handing the keys of center field to him. Now, he just has to keep up that level of production for the next 161 games - and the team hopes, some games after that as well.

Rising to the occasion

The Tigers traded Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels this past winter, creating a gap in center field. Rather than try to sign a player in free agency, though, the team decided to have an open competition between Jones, Anthony Gose, Tyler Collins, and Mikie Mahtook.

The team must have liked what they were seeing in their 24-year old rookie to give him the starting spot.

The former third round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates is now getting his chance to seize a role in the major leagues. The Tigers have aspirations to make the playoffs in the American League, with a potent lineup and a rotation led by the resurgent Justin Verlander.

JaCoby Jones will have to continue to validate his spot in manager Brad Ausmus' lineup for the team to play October baseball at the end of the year.

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