Brandon and Austin Meadows, along with their wives, were roommates last spring in Port Charlotte…Brandon received an urgent call from his wife, Madison, to say a brush fire was threatening their neighborhood…Meadows was scratched from that day’s lineup as the two rushed home…he said, “I felt like I was in NASCAR. Last thing we heard was ‘we can’t get out, there’s smoke everywhere’ and I was terrified what might actually happen.”…the fire destroyed 220 surrounding acres but the couples safely returned to the house the next day...Brandon stayed in shape waiting for the 2020 season to begin by taking batting practice in a homemade garage setup…Madison, a former softball standout at Maryland, threw to him… he posted a clip of her working up-and-in on Twitter and she shared it, asking, “Why did you not show me dicing you with my cutter?”...Brandon is the unofficial taste-tester for Sweet and Lowe Bakery, a home business Madison started in June 2020 after photos of her desserts gained traction on her social media accounts… she creates custom bakes out of their kitchen… Brandon sometimes pitches in with the dishes...He and Madison built a country home in College Grove, Tenn. …they live there in the offseason with their dog, Collie, a miniature bernedoodle— a mix of a Bernese mountain dog and poodle...Brandon maximizes the power potential in his body by implementing a routine of drills using bands and bungee cords to promote posture, balance and the transfer of energy…he uses these to create awareness and feel with his swing...Brandon launched the “Home Runs for Hope” program in 2019…for each home run Brandon hits, he and Madison donate $100 to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, matched by the Rays Baseball Foundation…his 14 HR last season raised $2,800…mental health has heavily impacted his family and he wants to ensure no one feels helpless when dealing with mental health issues...Brandon discovered his key to success while in the minor leagues, which he shared with the Tampa Bay Times…“A big thing has been eating applesauce. When I got to Triple-A Durham, I was struggling and they had those GoGo squeezes in the fridge and I was like, ‘Ah, applesauce. I haven’t had a lot of fruits lately.’ Had one, ended up hitting a home run. Had 3 hits that day. And I was like, ‘I’ve got to have applesauce tomorrow.’ The next day, I \[homered twice\], and I just absolutely took off.”
Won the Don Zimmer Award, given to the club’s Most Valuable Player…was the second player to win Outstanding Rookie and then MVP the next season, joining Jorge Cantú in 2004-2005...Named second team All-MLB, with NYY DJ LeMahieu receiving first team honors…the teams were selected with voting split between fans and an MLB-appointed panel of experts, including media, former players and executives...Ranked among AL leaders in homers (14, tied for 7th), slugging pct. (.554, 9th) and OPS (.916, 8th)… led the team in those categories as well as runs (36), hits (52), RBI (37) and extra-base hits (25)... Hit .317 (19-for-60) with 4 HR and 9 RBI in his last 18 games after ending an 0-for-22 slump...Appeared in 56 games and made 49 starts (35-2B, 7-RF, 4-LF, 3-DH). Led major league second basemen (min. 50 pct. of games there) with 14 HR, ahead of MIL Keston Hiura (13)…ranked 1st with 37 RBI and 25 XBH and 3rd with 36 runs and 25 BB...His 14 HR and 37 RBI resulted in a 162-game pace of 38 HR and 100 RBI…the only primary second basemen in major league history to reach those numbers are SEA Robinson Canó (39 HR, 103 RBI) in 2016, CHC Ryne Sandberg (40 HR, 100 RBI) in 1990 and STL/CHC Rogers Hornsby three times (1929, 1925, 1922). Hit the 30th homer of his career in his 146th game, the 3rd-fastest Ray to get there, according to Stats LLC, behind Evan Longoria (126th career game) and Jonny Gomes (133rd game)…recorded his 100th RBI in his 151st game, 2nd-fastest in club history behind Longoria (135th game)...Became the first Rays player with 8 HR through 24 games since Carlos Peña (10) in 2009...Hit 6 HR vs. LHP, the most “left-on-left” homers in the majors…had six vs. lefties in 2018-19...Made his second consecutive Opening Day roster but did not start...On July 25 vs. TOR, hit a go-ahead, 2-run triple in the 8th inning…marked the first time the Rays hit a go-ahead triple that late in a game since Denard Span on Opening Day 2018 vs. BOS...On Aug 9 vs. NYY, his game-tying solo homer off James Paxton in the 7th inning was the second of back-to-back homers with Mike Brosseau...Named AL Player of the Week for Aug 10-16, his first career weekly honor…hit .448/.500/1.000 (13-for-29) with 4 2B, 4 HR and 10 RBI in 7 games...Homered in four consecutive games from Aug 12-15 at BOS/TOR…was the seventh player in club history to homer in four straight games, first since Evan Longoria (4) from June 2-5, 2016 at MIN…joined Fred McGriff in 1999 as the only Rays to do it with multiple hits in each game...On Sep 6 vs. MIA, recorded his first career walk-off RBI with a sacrifice fly off Brandon Kintzler in the 10th inning…was the fourth walk-off sacrifice fly in club history and first since Willy Aybar on June 27, 2009 vs. FLA...On Sep 16 vs. WAS, hit a game-tying homer off Daniel Hudson in the 9th inning…was the second Ray all-time to hit a game-tying homer with the team down to its final strike, joining Dan Johnson in “Game 162” on Sep 28, 2011 vs. NYY.
POSTSEASON: Hit .118 (9-for-76) with 4 HR and 8 RBI in 20 games (19 starts)…all 4 HR came in his last 9 games, including three in the World Series...Went 0-for-18 with 7 SO in the ALDS against the Yankees, the most at-bats without a hit in a single postseason series in major league history...His 3 HR in the World Series tied SF Jeff Kent in 2002 and LAD Davey Lopes in 1978 for the 2nd-most as a second baseman (while playing the position) in a single World Series behind PHI Chase Utley (5) in 2009...In Game 2 of the World Series at LAD, homered in the 1st and 5th innings for the seventh multi-HR game in Rays postseason history and first in the World Series…became the sixth second baseman (7th time) with a multi-HR game in the World Series, joining PHI Chase Utley (twice) in 2009, SF Jeff Kent in 2002, LAD Davey Lopes in 1978, LAD Charlie Neal in 1959 and NYY Tony Lazzeri in 1932... According to Stats LLC, became the second player in major league history with a multi-HR game in the World Series after entering the game with a sub-.200 avg. in that postseason (min. 30 PA)…the other: BAL Eddie Murray in the clinching win in 1983 at PHI...In Game 4 vs. LAD, hit a go-ahead, 3-run homer off Pedro Báez in the 6th inning.
In 2019, named to the AL All-Star Team…voted the club’s Outstanding Rookie by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the BBWAA…his 17 HR ranked 3rd in club history for a rookie, behind Evan Longoria (27) in 2008 and Jonny Gomes (21) in 2005, despite 68 games on the injured list... Finished 3rd in the AL Rookie of the Year race behind unanimous winner HOU Yordan Álvarez and BAL John Means. Min. 300 PA, his .514 SLG was the 2nd-highest in AL history by a rookie middle infielder, behind BOS Nomar Garciaparra (.534) in 1997...Since 2005, only three other AL rookie middle infielders have matched his home run total: NYY Gleyber Torres (24) in 2018, HOU Carlos Correa (22) in 2015 and CWS Alexei Ramirez (21) in 2008...Fouled a ball off his right shin on July 2 vs. BAL, sustaining a right shin bone bruise, then was removed from his Aug 21 rehab game with Triple-A Durham with a left quadriceps strain, a separate and unrelated injury…reinstated from the 60-day IL on Sep 22, appearing in 6 games (5 starts) to end the season...At the time of his injury, led the Rays with 16 HR and 49 RBI and ranked 2nd among major league rookies in both categories…his 16 HR tied Evan Longoria in 2008 for the most by a Rays rookie before the All-Star break…was on pace to break the club rookie record for homers before his injury...In Baseball America’s annual Best Tools survey of major league managers, coaches and executives, was ranked as the AL’s 2nd-best Defensive Second Baseman behind NYY DJ LeMahieu...On March 20, signed a six-year contract through 2024, with club options for the 2025 and 2026 seasons…the deal will pay him at least $24 million, and up to $49 million if options are exercised and incentives are reached…it was the fourth time the Rays signed a player with less than a year of service time to a long-term extension, following Chris Archer (2014), Matt Moore (2011) and Evan Longoria (2008)...Named AL Rookie of the Month for April, the first Ray to win it since Wil Myers in September 2013…the winners were based on stats covering both March and April…led AL rookies in March/ April with a .289 avg., .350 OBP, .567 SLG, .917 OPS, 17 runs, 26 hits, 6 HR, 12 XBH and 17 RBI...Made his first Opening Day roster, starting at designated hitter and batting cleanup...On April 12 at TOR, hit a pair of 2-run homers for the first multi-HR game of his career…his first homer reached the 500 Level at Rogers Centre, becoming the smallest player, by both height and weight, ever to homer to the 500 Level... His 6 HR in April were a club rookie record, passing Steven Souza Jr. (4) in 2015...On May 2 at KC, hit a 2-run homer in the 9th inning off Wily Peralta to give the Rays a 3-1 lead…the homer came just minutes after he was named the AL Rookie of the Month for April...On May 8 vs. ARI, struck out five times in a 13-inning loss, the first 5-SO game in club history…from May 8-10 vs. ARI/NYY, struck out in eight straight plate appearances to tie Tomás Pérez from April 28-30, 2006 for the club record...Hit safely in 12 consecutive games from April 22–May 8, one shy of tying the longest hitting streak by a rookie in franchise history...Won the Al Lopez Award, presented to the club’s most outstanding rookie in spring training…led the Grapefruit League with 8 2B, ranked 2nd with 17 RBI, tied for 2nd with 11 XBH, tied for 3rd with 20 hits and ranked 3rd with 37 total bases…hit .377/.411/.698 (20-for-53) in 18 games.
ALL-STAR GAME: Added to the AL All-Star Team as an injury replacement for LAA Tommy La Stella, but did not play due to his own injury… despite his injury, went to Cleveland to enjoy the All-Star Game festivities and experience but endured an upsetting moment when veteran broadcaster Joe Buck mispronounced his name during pregame introductions... Became the fourth rookie in franchise history selected to the All-Star Team, joining Evan Longoria in 2008, Lance Carter in 2003 and Rolando Arrojo in 1998.
POSTSEASON: Entered the AL Wild Card Game at OAK as a pinch-hitter in the 3rd inning and remained in the game at second base…started the first 4 games of the ALDS…in Game 1 at HOU, made a 5th-inning error leading to two unearned runs…in Game 3 vs. HOU, homered off Zack Greinke on the first pitch of the 4th inning.
In 2018, selected from Durham on Aug 4 and remained with the Rays through season’s end, his first career major league action…appeared in 43 games and made 36 starts (24-2B, 7-LF, 5-RF)...Totaled 28 HR and 101 RBI between Double-A Montgomery, Durham and the Rays...Hit .297/.391/.558 (113-for-380) with 31 2B, 22 HR and 76 RBI in 100 games between Montgomery and Durham, earning a June 7 promotion to the Triple-A level…at the time of his selection to the majors, his 31 2B tied for 7th among all minor leaguers and his 54 XBH ranked 5th. Began his major league career hitless through 19 AB, the 2nd-longest to begin a career in club history behind Stephen Vogt (0-for-25) in 2012… after snapping the skid on Aug 15, hit .273/.357/ .527 (30-for-110) with 6 HR and 25 RBI in 37 games (30 starts) through season’s end...On Aug 5 vs. CWS, became the second player since Baseball Reference data is available (1908) to play both left field and second base in his major league debut, following OAK Tyler Ladendorf on April 8, 2015 vs. TEX...On Aug 15 at NYY, recorded his first career hit, a 2nd-inning RBI single off Luis Cessa…on Aug 28 at ATL, hit his first career home run, on a 2-2 pitch from Julio Teheran in the 6th inning...Began the season with Montgomery and was named to the Southern League midseason All-Star Team…ranked 2nd among Rays minor leaguers with 22 HR and tied for 4th with 76 RBI...Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com for a second consecutive year...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 93 overall prospect in the minors following the season…was the No. 8 prospect in the Rays system…named by the publication to its Triple-A All-Star Team.