Joey’s college coach, Jad Prachniak, traveled to watch his former player in the World Series last year, along with a few other former West Chester (Pa.) Golden Rams…one shouted at Joey during pregame infield work while he took grounders at third base…Joey responded by throwing a ball an estimated 150 feet up and over the protective netting to land directly in Jad’s hands on the concourse…inside the clubhouse, Joey texted, “How about that accuracy?”...Joey and his wife, Lindsey, have two sons: Jack (2) and Luke (1)...When an MLB Network graphic mistakenly listed Joey’s last name as “Mendle,” he embraced it by making it his Players’ Weekend nickname...He is one of the leaders among Rays players with the weekly baseball chapel…he frequently leads the players’ weekly bible study and serves as the team contact for visiting chaplains...Joey is involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has had opportunities to speak with younger athletes…he has visited schools on several occasions to speak directly with young FCA participants and has been involved with FCA in some capacity since high school...He was honored by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association (PSWA) with its Native Son Award in 2019…other winners of the award include Mike Piazza, the NBA’s Kyle Lowry and U.S. women’s soccer standout Carli Lloyd...Joey received his bachelor’s degree in prephysical therapy at West Chester and was named first team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2012…prior to being drafted by the Indians, he planned to attend school for physical therapy and had gone as far as applying to a handful of programs…it’s still a goal he’d like to pursue after baseball...Growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, he supported the Phillies and his favorite players were Scott Rolen and Chase Utley
Min. 150 AB, his .286 avg. was a team high… ended the season on an 8-game hitting streak...Appeared in 50 games and made 45 starts (18-2B, 18-3B, 9-SS)…made 5 errors, including four at third base from July 27–Aug 14...Made his fourth Opening Day roster and his third consecutive active roster...On July 27 vs. ATL, his first homer was the second of back-to-back with Hunter Renfroe...Hit safely in 10 consecutive games from Aug 18-30, one shy of matching a career long…hit .325 (13-for-40) with 5 2B over that stretch...On Aug 29 at MIA, hit a 2-run, bases-loaded double off James Hoyt in the 8th inning… the next day, hit a leadoff homer off Sandy Alcantara, the third of his career...On Sep 23 at NYM, gave the Rays a lead with a 2nd-inning homer off Michael Wacha…the Rays won, 8-5, to clinch the AL East title...On Sep 25 vs. PHI, made a running catch near the right field foul line to save a run in the top of the 8th inning, then delivered a go-ahead, 2-run single with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the bottom half of the frame.
POSTSEASON: Hit .190 (11-for-58) with 2 2B and 5 RBI in 20 games and 17 starts, all at third base...In Game 5 of the ALDS vs. NYY, caught Gio Urshela’s 109.6 liner to third for the final out of a 2-1 win, helping the Rays advance to the ALCS for the second time in franchise history...In Game 2 of the World Series at LAD, totaled 3 RBI on a 2-run double in the 4th inning and a sacrifice fly in the 6th…became the first third baseman with 3 RBI (or more) in a World Series game without the benefit of a homer since NYY Alex Rodriguez (RBI double, 2-run double) in Game 5 of the 2009 World Series at PHI
Limited to 75 games due to three stints on the injured list…sidelined from April 1-20 due to a left hamstring strain, from April 26-June 13 with a right wrist fracture and from July 29- Aug 24 with right wrist inflammation...Made 34 starts at second base, 22 starts at third base and 8 starts at shortstop…handled all 155 chances at second base without an error...Hit .268/.321/.433 (26-for-97) with 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR and 9 RBI after returning from his third stint on the injured list…this stretch increased his season avg. from .206 to .231...Made his second Opening Day roster and first start, batting sixth and playing second base…was hit by pitch in the 2nd and 7th innings, the first in club history with two on Opening Day...Placed on the 10-day IL on April 1 with a left hamstring strain…the injury was sustained on defense on a slide into second base…reinstated on April 21, but played in only 4 games before his second injury sidelined him for 43 games...On Aug 27 at HOU, homered in the 7th inning for the Rays only run in a 15-1 loss…was his first homer since Aug 19, 2018 at BOS, snapping a career-long homerless drought at 280 AB...On Sep 25 vs. NYY, his homer off Jonathan Loaisiga was the second leadoff homer of his career, following Sep 17, 2016 at TEX...Entered the AL Wild Card Game at OAK in the 7th inning as a pinch-runner and remained in the game at third base…appeared in 4 games and made 3 starts, all at third base, in the ALDS…in Game 4 vs. HOU, hit a RBI double off Justin Verlander in the 1st inning.
In his first season in the Rays organization, led AL rookies with 4.3 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), according to Baseball Reference, ahead of LAA Shohei Ohtani (3.9), which came as a position player (2.7) and pitcher (1.2)...Hit .300, 8th in the AL and 1st among major league rookies…broke Rocco Baldelli's club rookie record .289 avg. in 2003...From July 1 through the end of the season, his .335 avg. (87-for-260) ranked 2nd in the AL behind BOS Mookie Betts (.350)...Also ranked among AL rookie leaders in on-base pct. (.354, 2nd), hits (146, 2nd), doubles (33, 2nd), triples (6, 1st) and stolen bases (16, 2nd)...Voted as the club's Outstanding Rookie by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the BBWAA...Only six other rookies in AL history could match his combination of a .300 avg., 33 2B and 16 SB while qualifying for the batting title: SEA Ichiro Suzuki in 2001, BOS Nomar Garciaparra in 1997, CLE/CWS Minnie Minoso in 1951, DET Barney McCosky in 1939, DET Roy Johnson in 1929 and CLE Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1911…was one of four rookies in major league history to reach those marks while playing most of their games at middle infield, joining Garciaparra, the Kansas City Packers' Duke Kenworthy in 1914 and the Syracuse Stars' Cupid Childs in 1890...Became just the 18th rookie middle infielder (min. 50 pct. of games played there) in AL history to hit .300 and qualify for the batting title…this group includes BOS Dustin Pedroia (2007), BOS Nomar Garciaparra (1997), NYY Derek Jeter (1996) and Hall of Famers NYY Phil Rizzuto (1941) and CLE Joe Sewell (1921)...Played five different defensive positions and started at four: second base (101 games, 85 starts), third base (20 games, 17 starts), left field (16 games, 13 starts), shortstop (10 games, 7 starts) and right field (1 game)…was the first rookie to start at four different positions, hit .300 and qualify for the batting title since STL Albert Pujols in 2001…was the first rookie to appear at five positions, hit .300 and qualify for the batting title since CLE/CWS Minnie Minoso in 1951...At second base, committed only 4 errors in 375 chances for a .989 fielding pct., 2nd among AL second basemen (min. 100 games) behind OAK Jed Lowrie (.992)…according to FanGraphs, was credited with 5 Defensive Runs Saved in 771.1 innings at second base...Hit .335/.392/.485 (91-for-272) with 5 HR and 35 RBI on the road, compared to .256/.306/.372 (55for-215) with 2 HR and 26 RBI at home...Was named the Rays recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA)…the Heart and Hustle Award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody its values, spirit and traditions…it is also the only award in MLB that is voted on by former players. ® Made his first Opening Day active roster after batting .327/.386/.558 (17-for-52) with 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR and 6 RBI in 19 games during spring training…won the Al Lopez Award as the top Rays rookie in spring training...His 24 hits through the end of April tied for 3rd for a rookie in club history, behind Rocco Baldelli (40) in 2003 and Delmon Young (26) in 2007...On April 9 at CWS, hit his first homer as a Ray, coming in the 5th inning off Miguel González, and the third of his career...He and his wife, Lindsay, welcomed a baby boy, Jack Joseph, on May 22…was on the paternity list from May 22-24...On May 29 at OAK, homered off his former team, as he spent three seasons in the Athletics organization and was acquired by the Rays in the offseason…was the middle of back-to-back-toback homers with C.J. Cron and Wilson Ramos in the 3rd inning...On June 9 vs. SEA, started at cleanup for the first time in the majors and first time as a professional since June 11, 2014 with Double-A Akron.
Appeared in 8 games with the Athletics following the conclusion of the Triple-A season… hit .308 (4-for-13) with 1 HR and 5 RBI for the Athletics, making 3 starts at second base... On Sep 17 at PHI, hit a 6th-inning grand slam off Edubray Ramos, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 victory…the grand slam came in the 33rd game of his career, the soonest into a career an Athletics player hit one since Scott Spiezio on April 23, 1997 vs. MIN (29th game)... Was on the Athletics 10-day DL to begin the season with right shoulder soreness... Prior to his call up, spent the entire season with Nashville…appeared in 125 games for the Sounds, including 118 starts (81-2B, 24-3B, 8-DH, 5-SS)... Tied for 3rd in the Pacific Coast League with 12 HBP and tied for 10th with 8 3B... With Nashville, hit .375/.412/.604 (36-for-96) when leading off an inning... Is the Sounds all-time leader in with 102 2B… ranks 4th with 440 hits, 5th with 228 runs, 25 3B and 1,546 AB and 9th with 380 games... Designated for assignment by the Athletics on Dec 7 and traded to the Rays four days later.
Spent nearly the entire season at Triple-A Nashville before he was promoted to Oakland Aug. 31… batted .260 with a double, home run and 11 RBI in 28 games in his Major League debut…hit .349 over his first 13 games but then batted .189 over his final 15 contests…made 23 of his 24 starts against right-handed pitchers…hit .247 (20-for-81) against righties, .333 (5-for-15) against lefties…made 16 starts batting leadoff and batted .262 in those games, including .333 with a .375 on-base percentage when leading off the game…had a .323 batting average at night, .147 during the day…hit .324 with runners on base, .220 with the bases empty…went 7-for-23 (.304) with runners in scoring position but was 1-for-11 (.091) with RISP and two outs…had a .300 batting average against a pitcher the first time he saw him in a game, .194 after that…all 28 of his appearances came at second base, including 24 starts…went errorless over his first 22 games but then committed two over his final six contests…finished with a .983 fielding percentage…went 0-for-4 in his ML debut, a start at second base on Aug. 31 at Houston…recorded his first big league hit in his second game, a pinch hit single in the eighth inning on Sept. 2 off Boston's Joe Kelly…collected his first RBI Sept. 5 against Los Angeles (AL)…hit safely in five straight games from Sept. 5 to 10…went 6-for-18 (.333) with five RBI over that stretch…stole the first base of his career Sept. 7 against Los Angeles (AL)…was 4-for-6 and scored three runs Sept. 15 at Kansas City…led off the game with a home run Sept. 17 at Texas off Yu Darvish for his first career home run…had his second career four-hit game Oct. 1 at Seattle…played for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific Winter League following the season and hit .307 with 25 RBI and a .511 slugging percentage in 34 games.
Was named to the Pacific Coast League Postseason All-Star Team at second base after batting .289 with 42 doubles, eight triples, 10 home runs and 57 RBI in 137 games with Triple-A Nashville…led the PCL and ranked fourth in all of minor league baseball with 167 hits…tied for second in the PCL and tied for seventh in the minors in doubles…also led the PCL in at bats (577), ranked second in games, third in extra base hits (60) and total bases (255), fifth in triples and tied for seventh in runs (80)…had minor league career highs in games, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, stolen bases (12) and strikeouts (114)… led the A's farm system in hits, doubles, extra base hits and total bases, tied for the lead in triples, ranked fifth in runs and was seventh in batting and slugging (.442)…was batting .257 in 86 games at the AllStar Break…then hit .341 in 51 contests after the break…batted .293 (110-for-376) with eight of his 10 home runs against right-handed pitching compared to .284 (57-for-201) against left-handers…hit .302 with seven of his 10 home runs at home compared to .277 on the road…had a .284 batting average or better in every month except May (.230)…batted .347 in the first inning…went 0-for-13 with four RBI with the bases loaded…appeared exclusively at second base on defense and led PCL second baseman in games (136), total chances (700), putouts (297), assists (387), errors (16) and double plays (90)…had a .977 fielding percentage…also went 1-for-3 (.333) with a double in one game at designated hitter…saw most of his action batting second in the order (127 games)…also hit sixth six times and had one game each hitting first, third and seventh…had 47 multiple hit games.
Batted .253 with eight home runs and 50 RBI in 87 games with Double-A Akron in a season shortened due to a stint on the disabled list with a broken hamate bone…went 10-for-22 (.455) on a sixgame rehab assignment with the Indians affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League and combined for a .265 batting average, eight home runs and 54 RBI in 93 games overall…hit .282 against left-handed pitching compared to .257 against right-handers…slugged all eight of his home runs against righties…six of his home runs came on the road and five came with runners on base…went 10-for-51 (.196) with runners in scoring position and two outs but was 5-for-14 (.357) with a grand slam and 16 RBI with the bases loaded…appeared exclusively at second base on defense (85 games), where he committed eight errors for a .983 fielding percentage…while at Akron, he had 280 assists and 73 double plays, both of which led Eastern League second basemen… also went 6-for-24 (.250) in seven games as the designated hitter and was 0-for-2 as a pinch hitter…hit in every spot in the order except first and ninth…saw his most action with 45 games batting third, where he hit just .190…hit .308 with a pair of three-hit games over his first seven games…had a 34-game errorless streak from April 17 to May 28…hit .277 with 20 RBI in 28 games in May…had a season-high 10-game hitting streak from May 4 to 14…went 17-for-40 (.425) with eight runs scored, eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 11 RBI during the hitting streak… grounded into his fourth and final double play of the season May 4 at Altoona…finished the season with a 64-game, 254-at bat streak without a GIDP…hit a grand slam and collected a season-high four RBI May 5 at Erie…batted .306 over his final 49 games beginning May 23…matched his season high with four RBI May 26 against Reading…collected a season-high four hits June 17 at Reading…homered in back-to-back games June 21 and 22 at Harrisburg…compiled his best batting average in June when he hit .300 with three home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games…was batting .259 with eight home runs and 45 RBI in 76 games when he was placed on the disabled list June 28 with a fractured right hamate bone… was assigned to the Indians affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League Aug. 5 and hit .455 with four multiple hit games on a six-game rehab assignment before he was reinstated from the DL Aug. 18…went 8-for-39 (.205) over his final 11 games with Akron…then hit .400 (4-for-10) with three walks and two RBI in four postseason games for the RubberDucks.
Spent the entire season with the Single-A Carolina Mudcats where he hit .295 (122-413) with 32 doubles, 5 triples, 64 RBI and an .885 OPS (.372 OBP/.513 SLG)...Hit 16 home runs which was just one shy of tops in the Indians Minor League system while his .295 average was 3rd-best in the organization...Ranked among Carolina League Leaders in slugging percentage (2nd, .513), extra-base hits (2nd, 53) and total bases (4th, 212)...Named Lou Boudreau Award winner symbolic of the top position player in the Indians system...Hit .426 (20-47) with a 1.104 OPS (.508 OBP/.596 SLG) through the first 14 games of the season before suffering a fractured orbital on April 20 that sidelined him until May 21...At the time of the injury, the left-handed hitting infielder ranked 6th in all of Minor League baseball with a .426 average, and was leading the Carolina League in on-base pct.(.508) and OPS (1.104)...Hit .320 (98-306) off RHP with a .938 OPS...Carolina League Postseason All-Star Team selection batted .311 (19-61) with 7 extra-base hits, 12 RBI and an .863 OPS (.371 OBP/.492 SLG) for Surprise in the Arizona Fall League after the season.
Spent first full season at Mahoning Valley where he ranked 3rd in the New York-Penn League in batting (.327) and slugging pct (.469)...Named Indians Minor League Player of the Week for 7/1-8...Named to New York-Penn League All-Star team.