ST. LOUIS — Through five games in the major leagues, Cardinals rookie Juan Yepez looks like a guy who has no intentions of going back to the minors.
On Tuesday, he was in St. Louis for his first taste of playing at Busch Stadium and talked about his whirlwind first week in the show.
"It's a dream come true. I spent eight years in the minor leagues and finally get the call, and (I'm) doing so well... (It's) something I've been waiting for my whole life. It's been my dream my whole life. It's pretty amazing," Yepez.
Yepez is right. He is doing so well.
Through his first five games, Yepez is nine for 19 with a home run, three doubles and three RBIs. He has an OPS of 1.289 heading into Tuesday's game against Baltimore.
He set a Cardinals franchise record as the first player to hit two doubles in their debut, with his sensational start in Kansas City. That was his "awe" moment to welcome him to the bigs.
"Probably my first hit. That first double. It was tough traveling (to join the Cardinals). I just got there, eat and play the game and to have that first double was pretty amazing," Yepez said.
Yepez made his Busch Stadium debut on Tuesday, and it was his first time seeing the Busch Stadium field since he was 15 years old. I'll let him explain.
"I just walked in here, and last year, I was called up to the Wild Card game. And I said, 'I'm not gonna (go) see the field because I'm gonna see it next year.' So, I just walked out and was like 'Whoa. This is pretty amazing.' So thankful to be here," Yepez said.
That first trip to Busch Stadium as a 15 year old came on a visit to his brother in college, with his family passing through St. Louis. They decided to catch a game, and Yepez said they sat up beyond Big Mac Land.
His view is a bit better these days.
Yepez got his first career home run against the Giants on Mother's Day, with his mom in attendance. The Cardinals got the ball, and are preparing it in a special way for the rookie to gift to his mom.
For Yepez, his journey wouldn't have been possible without his family's help.
"(They mean) everything. My parents and my brother have been there since day one, and to be here with them is pretty special," Yepez said.
If he keeps hitting like he has, Yepez will keep getting his chances, but for now, he's also trying to soak up everything he can from guys like Albert Pujols and Nolan Arenado.
"I'm trying to learn from them as much as I can and trying to take advantage of this opportunity," Yepez said.