Kahlil Watson, a top prospect of the Miami Marlins, got people buzzing on Monday with a game-tying steal of home in the ninth inning. Marlins prospect Khalil Watson steals home to tie Monday’s game in the ninth inning. Photo Credit: Beloit Sea Carp

Kahlil Watson, a 2021 first-round pick of the Miami Marlins, pulled off one of the most daring and exciting plays in all of baseball in a Minor League game on Monday — a straight steal of home.

Watson and the Beloit Sea Carp — the High-A affiliate of the Marlins — trailed the South Bend Cubs 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Watson was on third base with two outs and teammate Jacob Berry at the plate with the count full.

Noticing that pitcher Frankie Scalzo wasn’t paying much attention to him, Watson took off. In the end, there was no play. Scalzo’s 3-2 pitch was low and catcher Ethan Heard had gotten out of his crouch, ready for a potential play at the plate. With that, the ball hit the dirt and got by Heard for ball four and Watson slid home safely with no tag attempt.

A steal of home is one of the most exciting plays in sports. When they happen, people generally notice. That was the case here.

Any straight steal of home is incredibly risky. This one was even more risky than normal, for several reasons.

One is the game situation. If Watson was thrown out, the game was over.

Two, Scalzo a right-handed pitcher. Most steals of home come against left-handers, who have their backs turned to the runner on third. It’s still daring. But if a fast runner can get a few steps before the pitcher notices, he’s got a chance. It’s a lot easier to do that against a Southpaw.

Three, Berry, the switch hitter, was batting left-handed. That gives the catcher a clean look at the runner on third base and gives him a clean lane to make a tag.

Clearly, though, none of that kept Watson from trying — and succeeding. Watson, a first-round draft pick in 2021, is obviously on the Marlins radar. With plays like this, the notice will be even greater.

[Photo and video credit: Beloit Sea Carp]

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