WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Michael Mahtook is just looking to fit in with a talented team. The Tigers outfielder, acquired in a January trade with the Rays, hopes he can bring additional pop to a loaded lineup.The Rays' first-round Draft pick in 2011 out of LSU, Mahtook belted nine
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Michael Mahtook is just looking to fit in with a talented team. The Tigers outfielder, acquired in a January trade with the Rays, hopes he can bring additional pop to a loaded lineup.
The Rays' first-round Draft pick in 2011 out of LSU, Mahtook belted nine homers in 105 at-bats for Tampa Bay in '15, his rookie season.
"It's been great," the 27-year-old said of his new team. "Any time you change teams, it's a little bit of an adjustment period just trying to figure out how everything works. But it's been awesome. The vibe and everything that's going on in the clubhouse is awesome, and it's been a fun ride so far."
Fitting in hasn't been a problem despite a veteran-laden roster.
"It's a team with a lot of veterans, a lot of superstars, but all the guys are down to earth, real approachable," Mahtook said. "It's been real easy for me to come in here and fit in and do my thing. At the end of the day, as long as you go out there and play the game of baseball and play well, everybody's going to have fun."
It's an entirely different clubhouse for Mahtook.
"With Tampa, we had a lot of young guys," he said. "Not a lot of [big] contract guys. Here, it's the opposite of that. That's a little bit different for me, but like I said, the guys have been awesome and it's been a good experience."
Not concerned with his role, Mahtook said he is more focused on doing what he does and letting the rest take care of itself.
"I'm just going to go out there and play my game and do what I can to help us win games; play really good defense and obviously hit, do my thing at the plate and do what I can," he said.
Mahtook went 1-for-3 on Monday in a 3-3, 10-inning tie with the Nationals in West Palm Beach. It was just his third hit of the Grapefruit League season, but one he hopes can jump-start his stay with a contending team after hitting .231 in two seasons with the Rays.
"It's an outrageously talented team," Mahtook said. "We have guys up and down the lineup that can mash. And then obviously our [pitching] staff is just as good. [Michael] Fulmer was [the American League] Rookie of the Year, and everybody knows how [Jordan] Zimmermann and [Justin] Verlander are. So it's an exciting team to be on, and it's going to be an exciting season."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.