Jake attended the MLB Rookie Career Development Program in Washington D.C. in January along with Justin Williams and Ryan Yarbrough…he enjoyed listening to longtime big leaguers share their wisdom and found the breakout session led by Jeffrey Hammonds to be most impactful... The Carolina Panthers became his favorite NFL team after they drafted Cam Newton, whom he followed closely at Auburn…he chose a later flight after the MLB Rookie Career Development Program so he could watch the Panthers playoff game at the airport...The first nationally televised game he played in as a professional was the 2015 Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game-and he took a tumble trying to swipe second base…the crowd gave a big laugh and ovation when he tipped his cap jogging off the field... Surfing is his newest hobby, and he tries to get out once a week when he's at home... In each of the last three winters, his family has vacationed in Mexico…they have visited Cancún, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
Spent his age-21 season with Triple-A Durham…was the second-youngest player on an International League Opening Day roster, behind 20-year-old Ozzie Albies (Gwinnett)... Ranked among IL leaders in runs (79, 1st), walks (78, 2nd) and on-base pct. (.368, 5th)…tied his career high in runs (2016)…his 20 SB were twice as many as his previous career high (10, 2016)... Was one of two players in the IL with double-digit homers and at least 20 SB, along with Xavier Avery of Gwinnett (Braves)... Tied for 3rd among Rays minor leaguers with 13 HR, behind Jesús Sánchez (15) and Justin Williams (14)... Started 53 games in left field, 50 games at first base and 19 games in right field... Was a non-roster invite to Rays spring training… won the Al Lopez Award as the Rays most outstanding rookie in spring…hit .371/.465/.857 (13- for-35) in 17 games, tying Corey Dickerson for the team lead with 4 HR and leading the team with 13 RBI... Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com for a second consecutive year. ®® Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 45 overall prospect in the minors following the season, up from No. 70 the year prior…was the No. 4 prospect in the Rays system.
Named Most Valuable Player for Double-A Montgomery by the Rays Baseball Operations department…earned Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star honors…ranked among SL leaders in games (135, 1st), runs (79, 3rd), RBI (78, 4th), doubles (28, 4th), OBP (.370, 5th), walks (73, 2nd) and total bases (207, 4th)…ranked 2nd among Rays farmhands in RBI and tied for 4th with a career-high 14 HR…started 62 games in RF, 57 at 1B and 4 in LF…ranked by Baseball America as the No. 70 overall prospect in the minors enter-ing the 2017 season…was the No. 4 prospect in the Rays organization and the No. 5 prospect in the SL following the season…also tabbed by the publication as the Rays Best Hitter for Average…named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MiLB.com.