Hunter was promoted from Double-A Montgomery for his major league debut last season…he received the news with roughly an hour to catch the flight…the family missed baggage check-in at the Montgomery airport by two minutes and had to drive to Birmingham for an alternate flight…he arrived at Globe Life Park in Arlington in the 2nd inning and entered the game for his debut in the 8th... Among his offseason activities is training English Springer Spaniels as upland and waterfowl hunting dogs…he works with a small number of dogs each day... The tattoo of his last name across his back-the first of more than a dozen-was featured in a Tampa Bay Times article last spring…he had it done as a freshman at Howard College and didn't tell his father about it until after the school year... Hunter and his wife, Hannah, have two sons: Rawling (2) and Easton (1).
Spent the entire season in the minors aside from a one-day stint on May 30 at TEX…made his major league debut that night, retiring Nomar Mazar -- his only batter face -- for the final out of the 8th inning... He and José Alvarado both bypassed Triple-A for their major league debuts, the first Rays to do that since Scott Kazmir in 2004... Optioned back to Montgomery after his debut… made 12 starts with the Biscuits and was promoted to Triple-A Durham on June 16…combined for a career-high 115 SO... Made 6 starts with the Bulls before making his final 13 apps of the season out of the bullpen… posted a 1.96 ERA (23-IP, 5-ER) as a reliever... Was 2-0 and did not allow a run over 4 apps in the IL postseason, helping the Bulls win the Governors' Cup.
Split the season between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery…went 9-5 with a 2.39 ERA (113-IP, 30-ER) in 21 apps (18 starts)…promoted to Montgomery at the end of May...Ranked 2nd among Rays minor leaguers in ERA, trailing Brent Honeywell (2.34), and ranked 5th with 9 wins...Eight of his 18 starts between the two levels were scoreless…yielded 2 hits or fewer in 6 of his 18 starts...Opened his Double-A career with a 14-inning scoreless streak spanning 3 starts...Twice took home Pitcher of the Week honors and did so once at each level: with Charlotte for May 9-15 and Montgomery for June 20-26...Did not pitch in July due to a broken thumb sustained on a comebacker to the mound…had thrown 6 no-hit innings on June 23 at Biloxi (Brewers) prior to the injury...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 27 prospect in the Rays organization following the season.