Ranked as the top international prospect eligible to sign in 2017 by Baseball America and MLB. com…is the nephew of former major league infielders Willy Aybar and Erick Aybar…has two older brothers, both also named Wander… his father, also named Wander, was a professional player in the White Sox system.
Twenty-year-old rookie was selected from Triple-A Durham on June 22 and remained in the majors for the rest of the season…missed 12 games in September with right hamstring tightness...Finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year race behind teammate Randy Arozarena and HOU Luis Garcia…received two first-place votes...From July 25–Sept. 29, his 43-game on-base streak tied CIN Frank Robinson in 1956 for the longest in major league history among players age 20 or younger, and passed NYY Mickey Mantle (36) in 1951-52 for the longest in AL history…regardless of age, his streak was third-longest among rookies in AL history behind SEA Alvin Davis (47) in 1984 and NYY Charlie Keller (44) in 1939…had 55 hits and 48 swings-and-misses during the streak...His on-base streak was a Rays rookie record, passing Rocco Baldelli (24) from March 31–April 27, 2003…it was the longest in the modern era (since 1900) for a rookie shortstop, passing CHW Chico Carrasquel (37) in 1950, according to the Elias Sports Bureau…his streak was the longest for a single season in club history and second-longest overall behind Tommy Pham (48) in 2018-19...Hit .314/.372/.500 (69-for-220) with 16 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR and 32 RBI in 55 games (all starts) after the All-Star break…led AL rookies in the 2nd half with 45 runs, 69 hits, 5 3B and a .314 avg...Finished the season with 24 BB and 37 SO, but struck out just three times in his final 97 PA...Became the first major leaguer born in 2001, and thus the first major leaguer born in the 21st century… he was born on March 1, 2001—one month and one day before Albert Pujols made his major league debut; one year, six months and five days before Kevin Cash’s major league debut; and 11 months and two days before Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl win...At 20 years, 113 days, became the 2nd-youngest player in Rays history at the time of his debut behind 19-year-old B.J. Upton in 2004...On June 22 vs. BOS, made his major league debut and went 2-for-4 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 BB…he became the seventh Ray to homer in his major league debut, joining Yoshi Tsutsugo on July 24, 2020, vs. TOR, Willy Adames in 2018, Brandon Guyer in 2011, Elijah Dukes in 2007, Delmon Young in 2006 and Brent Abernathy in 2001…he was the first Ray with a game-tying homer in his major league debut, and his three RBI were a club record for a major league debut...Became the 8th-youngest player since Baseball Reference data is available (1901) to homer in his first career game and the youngest since TEX Jurickson Profar (the only other switch-hitter on the list) at 19 years, 195 days in 2012…the others: CHC Starlin Castro in 2010, FLA Miguel Cabrera in 2003, KC Clint Hurdle in 1977, DET Denny McLain in 1963, CIN Ted Tappe in 1950 and NYG Whitey Lockman in 1945...According to ESPN Stats & Info, was the youngest third baseman in major league history to homer in his major league debut, passing ATL Bob Horner (20.314) on June 16, 1978 vs. PIT...Was the youngest player to make his major league debut batting in the leadoff or No. 2 spot of a starting lineup since ATL Andruw Jones (19.114) on Aug 15, 1996, at PHI, and youngest infielder to do so since SD Roberto Alomar (20.077) on April 22, 1988, vs. HOU…was the youngest to make his major league debut against the Red Sox as an infielder since SEA Alex Rodriguez (18.346) started at shortstop on July 8, 1994...On July 5 vs. CLE, hit a game-tying single in the 9th inning off Emmanuel Clase…it came on a 99.8 mph cutter, the highest velocity to result in a game-tying hit by the Rays in the 9th inning (or later) since Evan Longoria’s RBI single on a 100.2 mph pitch off Justin Verlander on April 11, 2012, at DET (ninth inning)...On Aug. 12 at BOS, hit a go-ahead, two-run homer to end an 11-pitch at-bat in the 6th inning…including postseason, it was the first time the Rays ended an at-bat of 10 pitches (or more) with a homer since Mike Brosseau hit a go-ahead shot in Game 5 of the 2020 ALDS off Aroldis Chapman…at 20 years, 164 days, became the youngest player in club history to homer at Fenway Park, passing Rocco Baldelli (21.357) on Sep 17, 2003…was the youngest in the majors to do so since ATL Ronald Acuña Jr. (20.159) on May 26, 2018 and the youngest infielder since Hall of Famer MIL Robin Yount in 1975...On Sep 6 at BOS, went 4-for-6 and helped the Rays erase a 7-1 deficit in a 11-10 win…at 20 years, 189 days, became the youngest player with a 4-hit game at Fenway Park since Tony Conigliaro (20.101) on April 18, 1965, vs. BAL and the 4th-youngest visiting player all-time, a list that includes NYY Lou Gehrig (20.101) on Sep 28, 1923...Hit .315 (51-for-162) with 11 2B, 6 3B, 7 HR, 35 RBI and 5 SB in 39 games for Durham…at the time of his call up, his 24 XBH tied for 1st in Triple-A East and his 35 RBI tied for 2nd, while he ranked 1st in triples and 2nd in hits.
POSTSEASON: Hit .368 (7-for-19) with two HR and four RBI in four games in his first postseason...Homered in Games 3-4 at BOS to become the youngest player with multiple homers in a single postseason since FLA Miguel Cabrera in 2003...Became the fifth player to homer in back-to-back postseason games at age-20 (or younger), joining BOS Rafael Devers in 2017, FLA Miguel Cabrera in 2003, ATL Andruw Jones in 1996 and NYY Mickey Mantle in 1952...At 20 years, 220 days in Game 1, became the 2nd-youngest player with an RBI in his first postseason game behind BAL Manny Machado (20.091) in the 2012 AL Wild Card Game at TEX…became the youngest player in major league history with multiple hits in his postseason debut...On Nov 27, signed an 11-year contract through the 2032 season, including a club option for 2033…the pact is worth up to $223 million if the club option is exercised and incentives are reached…the contract represents the largest commitment to a player in the history of the franchise and the largest in major league history for a player with less than a year of service time...With 104 days of service time, became the fifth player with less than a year the Rays have signed to a long-term extension, following Brandon Lowe (2019), Chris Archer (2014), Matt Moore (2011) and Evan Longoria (2008).
Was part of the Rays 60-man player pool and spent the summer at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte…was also part of the Rays 40-man player pool for the postseason…shut down after five games for the Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League with shoulder soreness and biceps inflammation…for a second straight year, ranked by Baseball America and MLB. com as the No. 1 overall prospect in the minors following the season…became the fourth player to rank as Baseball America’s top prospect in consecutive years, joining Bryce Harper (2011-12), Joe Mauer (2004-05) and Andruw Jones (1996-97)… the publication also tabbed him as the Best Hitter for Average and Best Strike-Zone Judgment in the organization for a third consecutive year.
Named Minor League Player of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department, batting .327/.398/.487 (139-for-425) with 27 2B, 7 3B, 9 HR and 53 RBI in 114 games between Class-A Bowling Green and Class-A Charlotte…led Rays minor leaguers with 82 runs and tied for 1st in hits…named to the Midwest League midseason All-Star Team and earned postseason honors in both the MWL and Florida State League…played in the Futures Game in July at Progressive Field, batting leadoff for the AL team…at the time of his June 25 promotion to Charlotte, ranked among MWL leaders in avg. (.318, 2nd), on-base pct. (.390, 4th), extra-base hits (27, tied for 4th) and slugging pct. (.506, 6th)…from his Stone Crabs debut through season’s end, led the FSL with a .339 avg. and .408 OBP, ranked 2nd with 40 runs and 3rd with a .464 SLG…became the fifth shortstop to earn the No. 1 overall prospect ranking from Baseball America, joining Corey Seager (2016), Jurickson Profar (2013), Alex Rodriguez (1995) and Chipper Jones (1993)…the publication also tabbed him as the Best Batting Prospect, Best Strike-Zone Judgment and Most Exciting Player in the MWL in its Best Tools survey…was the youngest player to land atop MLB. com’s rankings since they began in 2004.
Named the Appalachian League Player of the Year…named Most Valuable Player for Rookie-level Princeton by the Rays Baseball Operations department…named to the Appalachian League postseason All-Star Team after leading the league with 85 hits, 57 RBI (tied) and 142 total bases…tied for 2nd with 28 XBH, ranked 3rd with a .587 SLG and 4th with a .351 avg., which was 2nd among Rays minor leaguers…hit for the cycle on July 14, recorded a 25-game hitting streak from June 23–July 25 and a 53-game on-base streak from June 23–Aug 24…named the Rays Minor League Hitter of the Month for both July and August…named Baseball America’s Breakout Prospect of the Year and to its Minor League All-Star Team…ranked by Baseball America as the No. 4 overall prospect in the minors following the season.