When he was young, Brendan would call his father, Bruce, on his way home from work several times a week to ask him to go to a local field and take batting practice…he'd hit every ball in the bucket, then the two would pick them up and do it again...Brendan's travel ball coach predicted he would play Division I baseball when he was just 12 years old…his father responded, "let's wait and see."…to this day, when his father sees the coach, he doesn't miss the chance to say, "I told you."...He made his varsity debut as a freshman in high school…his first at-bat resulted in a 2-run single and he completed an immaculate 1st inning by striking out the side on nine pitches…the game was called after one inning due to snow...Brendan's parents bought a gently-used Saturn sedan to travel to his baseball commitments when he was young…when they finally got rid of it, it had close to 200,000 miles racked up with routine trips to tournaments in North Carolina and South Carolina from western Pennsylvania, as well as later 1,000-mile round trips to Louisville when Brendan's Cardinals were at home on the weekends…he bought them a new car after he was drafted...Brendan attended the MLB Rookie Career Development Program in Miami in January along with Mike Brosseau and Vidal Bruján… the four-day orientation program included media training, time management strategies and financial planning.
In his first major league action, made 13 apps (11 starts) on the mound, a start at designated hitter and was used as a pinch-hitter three times…was with the Rays for five stints: June 29-July 5, July 13 (26th Man), July 19, July 31-Aug 19 and Sep 3 through the end of the season...Pitched to a 1.69 ERA (16-IP, 3-ER) through his first 3 starts, but after that went 1-4 with a 6.82 ERA (33-IP, 25-ER) in 10 apps (8 starts)...Held left-handed batters to a .220/.250/.320 (11- for-50) line without a homer…righties hit .284/ .344/.527 (42-for-148) with 8 HR, all coming over a stretch of 7 starts from July 5-Aug 19...Allowed 1 BB (or fewer) in each of his first 6 starts, passing Nathan Eovaldi (5) for the longest streak by a traditional starter beginning his Rays career...On June 29 vs. TEX, made his major league debut, retired his first 16 BF and only allowed 1 hit over six scoreless innings…it was the longest scoreless outing for a Ray making his major league debut, passing Scott Kazmir (5 IP) on Aug 23, 2004 at SEA…his outing tied SEA Ken Cloude on Aug 9, 1997 vs. CWS and CIN Wayne Simpson on April 9, 1970 at LAD for the 2nd-longest perfect game bid in a debut in the expansion era (since 1961)…the major league record is held by PIT Nick Kingham (6.2 IP) on April 29, 2018 vs. STL…Brendan's only hit allowed was a 1-out, 6th-inning single by Danny Santana that left the bat at 66.8 mph, according to StatCast...Was the second AL pitcher since Baseball Reference data is available (1908) to allow 2 baserunners (or fewer) in a scoreless start of 6 IP (or more) in his debut, following MIL Steve Woodard on July 28, 1997 vs. TOR (G1)...Was the 6th-fastest in franchise history to make his major league debut as a Ray after being drafted by the club, according to the Elias Sports Bureau…he was also the fastest to do so in more than a decade, since David Price made his major league debut on Sep 14, 2008 at NYY after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2007 June Draft...Became the fifth lefty to make his major league debut for the Rays as a starter, first since Blake Snell on April 23, 2016 at NYY…at 23 years, 193 days, was the youngest starting pitcher used by the Rays since Snell's debut (23.141)...Was the seventh pitcher selected in the first round by the Rays to reach the majors with the club, joining Ryne Stanek (No. 29 in 2013), Blake Snell (No. 52 in 2011), David Price (No. 1 in 2007), Jeff Niemann (No. 4 in 2004), Dewon Brazelton (No. 3 in 2001) and Jason Standridge (No. 31 in 1997)...Was the first Rays college draft pick to make his debut for the club as a starter since Jeff Niemann on April 13, 2008 vs. BAL...On July 1 vs. BAL, appeared in his second game, batting eighth as the designated hitter…was the fourth player since 1913 to begin his career with a start as a pitcher and a non-pitcher within his first 2 games, according to Stats LLC…joined LAA Shohei Ohtani in 2018, WAS Syd Cohen in 1934 and STL/WAS Carl East from 1915-24...On July 5 vs. NYY, yielded a 1st-inning solo homer to Aaron Judge, his second batter faced, for the first run allowed in his career...On Aug 13 at SD, yielded 6 BB, the most by a Rays pitcher since Blake Snell (7) on June 19, 2018 at HOU…his 3 BB in the 1st inning alone matched his total from his first 6 starts combined...On Sep 15 at LAA, recorded his first career hit, a pinch-hit single off Ty Buttrey in the 8th inning...On Sep 22 vs. BOS, hit his first career homer, a pinch-hit, solo shot off the D-ring catwalk off Trevor Kelley in the 9th inning…was the third Ray to hit his first career homer as a pinch-hitter, joining Taylor Motter on May 17, 2016 at TOR and Tim Beckham on April 11, 2015 at MIA...Went 6-0 with a 1.10 ERA (73.2-IP, 9-ER) in 15 apps (13 starts) in the minors, including 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA (32-IP, 3-ER) in 7 apps (6 starts) with Durham…min. 70 IP, his 1.10 ERA ranked 2nd among all minor league pitchers...Was on Durham's 7-day IL, Aug 23-30, with left shoulder fatigue...Named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Month for both April and May...Recorded a scoreless streak of 29 IP spanning two levels, beginning May 4 vs. Double-A Mobile and ending on June 3 vs. Triple-A Norfolk...Was on the AL roster for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, but did not play due to his major league promotion...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 14 overall prospect in the minors following the season…was the No. 2 prospect in the Rays system…the publication also tabbed him as having the Best Control in the organization for a second consecutive year…named to its Minor League All-Star Team.
Split the season between Class-A Bowling Green and Class-A Charlotte, and made 2 starts for the GCL Rays on rehab assignment…went 5-2 with a 2.41 ERA (78.1-IP, 21-ER) in 19 apps (17 starts) between the three levels and tied for 6th among Rays minor leaguers with 103 SO...Hit .214/.368/.359 (41-for-192) with 6 HR...Was on Charlotte's injured list for a month with a right abdomen strain...Named the Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA (14-IP, 3-ER) and 24 SO in 4 starts...Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 47 overall prospect in the minors following the season… was the No. 3 prospect in the Rays system.
Began his professional career with Short-A Hudson Valley, making 6 starts on the mound and batting .232 (29-for-125) with 4 HR....Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 39 overall prospect in the minors following the season… was the No. 3 prospect in the Rays system and the No. 1 prospect in the New York-Penn League…the publication also tabbed him as the Best Power Hitter in the organization...Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 1 first base prospect and No. 5 left-handed pitching prospect… he and Shohei Ohtani (Angels) became the first players since rankings began to be on two of its Top 10 position lists in the same offseason.