In 2015, Rays executives and scouts traveled to Mexico to get a better look at a player named Randy Arozarena, who had defected from Cuba and was working out with the Toros team in Tijuana…the Rays were unable to sign Randy due to MLB spending restrictions but saw Aranda in the same workout and later signed him for $130,000…said Vice President, Assistant General Manager Carlos Rodriguez to the Tampa Bay Times: “It’s unbelievable, right? There’s a saying—you’re always dangerous at the ballpark. You may run into something, you may see something. Just by being around, you kind of run into some talent. And sometimes you get lucky.” Jonathan got the call for his Major League debut late night after a seven-hour bus ride with Triple-A Durham…he immediately called his parents, Humberto and Jessica, to share the news…they had never seen him play in the minors, but made the trip from Mexico to St. Petersburg in time for his major league debut...He and Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk have been friends since they were three years old, and they played on the same youth teams together… they took a photo together at Rogers Centre when Jonathan was active last September...He and his fiancée, Milka Medrano, are planning an offseason wedding in Mexico...Jonathan will play for Team Mexico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
Appeared in 32 games and made 21 starts over three stints with the Rays, his first career Major League action…was with the Rays from June 21-25, July 10-15 and Sept. 1 through season’s end...Hit .145 (9-for-62) with two HR and four RBI in 25 games (17 starts) after his Sept. 1 recall…ended the season in 0-for-26 and 3-for-45 slumps...On June 24 vs. PIT, started at second base in his Major League debut and hit a RBI single off Mitch Keller in the second inning…became the 20th Ray all-time to hit safely in his first career plate appearance and first since Vidal Bruján on July 7, 2021 vs. CLE (G1)…became the sixth in club history with a run-scoring hit in the first at-bat of his debut, joining Bruján, Brandon Guyer on May 6, 2011 at BAL, Elijah Dukes on April 2, 2007 at NYY, Jared Sandberg on Aug. 7, 2001 vs. NYY and Mickey Callaway on June 12, 1999 at MTL...On Sep.. 13 at TOR (G2), homered off Alek Manoah in the seventh inning and became the second player in franchise history to hit a go-ahead shot in the seventh inning (or later) for his first career homer… joined Bobby Smith on April 13, 1998 vs. MIN, a walk-off homer in the 14th inning in the 11th game of the Devil Rays inaugural season...On Sep. 22 vs. TOR, homered off José Berríos in the first inning, the second homer of his career and first career leadoff homer…became the seventh rookie in franchise history to hit a leadoff homer, joining Randy Arozarena (twice) in 2021, Brandon Lowe on May 7, 2019 vs. ARI, Desmond Jennings on Aug 28, 2011 at TOR, John Jaso (twice) in 2010, Akinori Iwamura (twice) in 2007 and Elijah Dukes (twice) in 2007...Won the International League Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the first member of Triple-A Durham to win it since Russ Canzler in 2011…named MVP for Durham by the Rays Baseball Operations department…hit .318/.394/.521 (128-for-403) with 26 2B, 18 HR and 85 RBI in 104 games with the Bulls…ranked among league leaders in OPS (.915, first), avg. (second), on-base pct. (second), slugging pct. (fifth), hits (seventh), RBI (tied for seventh) and total bases (210, ninth)...Named the Rays Minor League Hitter of the Month for July, batting .391/.459/.703 (25-for-64) with eight 2B, four HR and 24 RBI in 16 games...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 96 overall prospect in the Minors following the season… was the No. 6 prospect in the Rays system...POSTSEASON: Was on the roster for the AL Wild Card Series at CLE but did not play.
Enjoyed a breakout season to win the Double-A South Most Valuable Player Award…named MVP for Double-A Montgomery by the Rays Baseball Operations department…led Double-A South with a .325 avg., .410 OBP and .540 SLG...Split the season between High-A Bowling Green and Montgomery, earning a June 1 promotion…hit .331/.419/.543 (115-for-348) with 14 HR and 65 RBI in 102 games between the two levels...Named to the Double-A South postseason All-Star Team…ranked sixth in the league with 58 RBI, 8th with 89 hits and 9th with 19 2B...Tied for third among Rays minor leaguers with five 3B…ranked sixth with 73 runs and 115 hits and tied for sixth with 22 2B between the two levels...Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 20 prospect in the Rays system and No. 10 prospect in Double-A South following the season...Played for the Yaquis de Obregon in the Mexican Winter League for a fifth straight year…hit .285 (33-for-116) with two HR and nine RBI in 41 games.
In 2020, was not part of the Rays 60-man player pool and did not play following the cancellation of the minor league season.
Split the 2019 season between Class-A Charlotte and Class-A Bowling Green, and played two games with the GCL Rays on a rehab assignment…hit .272/.359/.383 (64-for-235) with three HR and 35 RBI...Missed two weeks in June (right wrist sprain).
Split the 2018 season between Rookie-level Princeton and Short-A Hudson Valley, with an Aug. 25 promotion…hit .269/.337/.391 (42-for-156) with one HR and 29 RBI in 45 games.