Jensen makes smooth transition to big leagues

Jensen makes smooth transition to big leagues

PHOENIX -- Kyle Jensen was one of the top hitters in the Pacific Coast League season, even finishing runner-up for the league's MVP award. A move to the Majors and a lack of consistent playing time hasn't prevented the 28-year-old, first-time big leaguer from still contributing with his bat.

Jensen made his first career start in the D-backs' 12-9 win over the Rockies on Monday night, and he drove in three runs with a pair of singles. Jensen has five RBIs in his first 10 at-bats for Arizona.

"I've felt good all year and it definitely helps when you carry that confidence over from [Triple-A] Reno to up here," Jensen said. "I've been playing around a lot of good guys and hitting is contagious. It just brings the best out of you."

Jensen led the PCL in home runs (30) and RBIs (120) while slashing .289/.350/.546 in 133 games. After playing eight seasons in the Minor Leagues and totaling 3,427 career at-bats, including more than 1,000 in Triple-A, Jensen received his first promotion to the Majors on Sept. 3.

The Arizona outfielder recorded his first hit on Friday against the Giants, a two-run homer off ace Madison Bumgarner. All three of Jensen's hits in the Majors so far have produced runs -- he had an RBI single in the second inning and a two-run single in the third on Monday.

Jensen's first MLB home run

"I've liked how easy it's been for him up here," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "It hasn't been a struggle for him when we put him in the game the sixth or seventh inning, pinch-hitting, starting, it's like business as usual for him. That's not easy to do your first time in the Major Leagues. There's something to the maturity, there's something to the development -- he's had a lot of it."

Jensen will spend the last few weeks of the season trying to show what he can do in the situations he is given. But so far, the D-backs have been impressed with his contributions.

"We've seen some big hits," Hale said. "Obviously he has lighttower power, but you need more at-bats to see how it's going to be over a long period of time and also how teams will adjust to him."

Jake Rill is a reporter for based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.