EVERETT — Life has always moved fast for Corbin Carroll.
It’s only fitting his first season in professional baseball mirrors that hectic pace.
Carroll, just months removed from playing high school baseball for Lakeside High School in Seattle, doubled, tripled, scored three runs and drove in two for Hillsboro in the Hops’ 10-1 rout of the Everett AquaSox on Sunday at Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“It’s a great feeling and going into this situation with the Diamondbacks, it was something I knew I might have the ability to do if I did well,” Carroll said of playing in his home state after starting the season in the Arizona Rookie League. “Actually having it happen is really special.”
A large contingent of Carroll’s family, friends and former teammates and coaches at Lakeside were seated in the bleachers along the third-base line to watch Carroll’s professional debut in the Puget Sound.
It’s been a hectic week for Carroll. The Diamondbacks’ first-round pick in 2019, he was told Thursday he was being called up to Hillsboro. He woke up at 4 a.m., hailed an Uber to the airport and flew into Portland, Oregon, where he was eventually shuttled to Salem-Keizer just in time for the Hops’ three-game series with the Volcanoes.
It’s nothing to which Carroll hasn’t become accustomed. As one of the top high school players in the nation, his summers in the past were spent playing baseball all over the country for his travel team, various showcases and USA Baseball.
Baseball eventually bringing him back home was worth the early wake-up call, Carroll said.
“I’d do it every day if I had to do it,” he said.
Carroll said he was always had an affinity for the Diamondbacks organization, even before he started to gear up for the draft. It was sparked after Jake Lamb, who is from the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle and the same area in which Carroll grew up, was picked by the Diamondbacks out of the University of Washington and ascended through Arizona’s organization.
He felt it was a no-brainer to sign with Arizona after they selected him 16th overall in June’s draft, not just because of the $3,745,000 signing bonus, but because of the fit.
“I just knew the situation was right,” Carroll said. “I knew at that point that was what I wanted to do when I saw it was the Diamondbacks with that pick. Just being a West Coast-based team with most of their affiliates and all that. … Everything I heard about the club and everything I ascertained from meeting with them, I knew it would be a great fit and I was really excited about it.”
Despite being 2.7 years younger than the average player in the Northwest League, Carroll thus far has shown no signs of being overwhelmed by Short season-A ball. In four games, Carroll is hitting .400 with a 1.260 OPS — on-base-plus slugging — two triples, a double and three RBI. He hit .291 with two home runs, 14 RBI and an .866 OPS in 30 games with the AZL Diamondbacks.
In limited viewing, Hillsboro skipper Javier Colina has been impressed not only with Carroll’s ability, but his maturity in handling the aggressive assignment.
“He’s special and that’s why he’s a first-round pick,” Colina said. “His approach, the way he plays the game and his defense in center field, it’s fun to watch all the way around. … It’s only my fourth game watching him play and I can’t say anything bad about him. He’s special and I know he’s going to be a big-leaguer soon.”
Carroll recorded his first hit of the evening on an RBI double in the fourth. He dumped an RBI triple into the right-field corner in the eighth for his second hit.
Everett starter Juan Then (0-3) was handed the loss. He breezed through 3.1 innings without allowing a hit, but the meat of Hillsboro’s lineup tagged him with four runs in the fourth in the second time through the order to chase him from the game.
Hillsboro starter Tyler Holton (1-0) picked up his first Northwest League win after allowing only one hit over five innings. He also recorded a career-high eight strikeouts.