MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — The Rocket City Trash Pandas opening day shortstop made the jump to the bigs Saturday, less than one year after he was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels.
Zach Neto was called up and made his major league debut Saturday, April 15 for the Angels.
Now, Neto is the 17th former Trash Panda to make his MLB debut, jumping straight from the Double A squad to the big leagues. He also became the first player selected in the 2022 draft to make his debut in the majors.
The LA Angels drafted Neto in the first round with the 13th overall pick out of Campbell University in the 2022 draft. He was assigned to the Angels High-A affiliate, the Tri-City Dust Devils, but only played seven games there before joining the Trash Pandas in August 2022.
In 37 games over the last 8 months as a Trash Panda, Neto has been one of the best players in the Southern League. He posted a hit in 24 of 30 regular season games and batted .320 with four home runs, 23 RBI, and eight stolen bases in 2022.
He also has the first postseason hit in Trash Pandas history after he doubled against the Tennessee Smokies in last years playoffs. Two days later, he hit the first playoff home run in Toyota Field history.
Neto only played in seven games with the Trash Pandas in 2023 before his call up but he was hot in the first week of the season. He batted .444 with three home runs, 10 RBI, and three stolen bases, and scoring 10 runs.
Though things may not have gone how he wanted at the plate as he went 0-for-4, his debut day in the historic Fenway Park was one he’ll surely never forget. He even got to sign his name on the wall behind the Green Monster Sunday before his second ever league game.