Paulo Orlando played nine seasons in the minors before the Royals picked him for their Opening Day roster and the 29-year-old outfielder was pushed into an expanded role last week by Alex Rios’ broken hand.
Seven games later he’s made history.
Orlando tripled Monday night against the Twins, giving him five triples through his first seven career games. No other hitter in MLB history has more than three triples through seven career games.
Orlando has played just seven games and logged just 29 plate appearances, yet by himself he’d be tied for the most triples by any team this season. Detroit, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Kansas City are tied for the MLB lead with five total triples, and of course the Royals’ entire total is Orlando. No other Royals hitter has a triple this season in 480 non-Orlando plate appearances. And the other 25 teams all have fewer triples this season than Orlando.
To put Orlando’s triple total in some career-long context, here’s a list of players with five career triples and their games played totals:
Mike Sweeney – 1,454 games
Paul Sorrento – 1,093 games
Bo Diaz – 993 games
Kurt Suzuki – 981 games
Ben Grieve – 976 games
Paulo Orlando – 7 games
Orlando is very fast and doesn’t hit many homers, so he did rack up a lot of triples in the minors. He totaled 14 triples in 286 games at Triple-A and 18 triples in 282 games at Double-A. But what the Brazilian rookie is doing now is crazy.