Ji-Man, Willy Adames and former Rays outfielder Carlos Gómez would often get together before games to plan their dance celebrations last season…the trio would watch dance videos featuring Michael Jackson or Dominican artist Sujeto oro 24 for inspiration...He visited Disney World in Orlando as soon as the 2018 season ended, documenting much of it on his Instagram account...Despite not spending the full 2018 campaign with the Rays, Ji-Man wasted no time in winning over his teammates…Manager Kevin Cash: "He's a piece of work. Great one-liners. He takes a lot of jokes in stride. And he dishes it really well. He's definitely done a good job of keeping the dugout loose." …Kevin Kiermaier: "He's hilarious. He knows how to talk trash, all the bad words. And he talks Spanish, too, just as much Spanish as English"...Ji-Man is one of six active major leaguers born in South Korea.
Acquired from the Brewers in mid-June and played in 49 games with 45 starts (44-DH, 1-1B) for the Rays…after joining the Rays, hit .269/ .370/.506 (43-for-160) with 8 HR and 27 RBI...Hit .292/.400/.584 (33-for-113) with 7 HR and 20 RBI in his last 35 games (31 starts), increasing his season avg. from .221 to .263...Following the trade, hit .337 (31-for-92) with 11 2B and 5 HR with the bases empty and .176 (12-for-68) with 1 2B and 3 HR with runners on...On July 21 vs. MIA, his first home run as a Ray came in the 9th inning off Kyle Barraclough and went 460 feet, according to StatCast…at the time, it was the longest by a Ray since Evan Longoria on July 19, 2016 at COL (462 feet) and the longest by a Ray at Tropicana Field since StatCast started tracking them in 2015…including visitors, it was the 4th-longest at Tropicana Field over that span and the longest since SEA Nelson Cruz on Aug 18, 2017 (482 feet, off Brad Boxberger)...Reached base safely in 22 consecutive starts, Aug 9-Sep 12, batting .333/.427/.679 (27-for-81) with 6 HR and 16 RBI over that stretch...On Sep 7 vs. BAL, tied a career high with 4 RBI, all coming on the second grand slam of his career, in the 6th inning off Ryan Meisinger… was his fifth homer with the Rays and first with runners on base...On Sep 10 vs. CLE, hit a walk-off, 2-run homer off Brad Hand, giving the Rays a 6-5 win…it was his first career walk-off hit, and it was the 15th homer of his career and first off a left-handed pitcher…his walk-off homer was the third in franchise history hit by a left-handed hitter off a left-handed pitcher, joining Jake Bauers on June 24, 2018 vs. NYY (Chasen Shreve) and Gabe Gross on June 1, 2008 vs. CWS (Matt Thornton)...On Sep 25 vs. NYY, received stitches for a left ear laceration suffered on a 3rd-inning collision at home plate…missed the final 5 games...Was optioned to Triple-A Durham after the trade…recalled on July 10 and made his Rays debut the next day vs. DET, going 2-for-4...Hit a pinch-hit grand slam on June 9 at PHI, his final at-bat with the Brewers…was the sixth pinch-hit grand slam hit by a Brewer since Baseball Reference play-by-play data is complete (1974)…turned a 3-2 deficit to a 6-3 lead.
Signed as a free agent with Milwaukee on 1/15/18...Signed as a free agent with New York-AL on 1/14/17
Made his Major League debut with the Angels, batting .170/.271/.339 (19-for-112) with 9R, 4 doubles, 5HR, 12RBI and 16BB in 54 games across three stints (4/4-5/11, 7/9-8/21, 9/3-10/2)…had just 4PA vs. left-handed pitchers (0-for-3, 1BB)…made his MLB debut as a defensive replacement (LF) in 4/5 loss vs. Chicago-NL…notched his first Major League hit in 4/23 win vs. Seattle with a seventh-inning single off Felix Hernandez…was designated for assignment on 5/11, offered back to Baltimore (declined), and outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake on 5/15…had his contract selected from Salt Lake on 7/9…hit safely in a career-best six consecutive games from 7/10-19…hit his first Major League home run in 7/18 win vs. Texas (fifth inning off A.J. Griffin)…collected his first career multi-hit game and multi-homer game and had a career-high 4RBI in 8/4 loss vs. Oakland, going 2-for-5 with a solo HR in the second and a three-run HR in the third, both off Jesse Hahn…was optioned to Salt Lake on 8/21 and recalled on 9/3…committed 1E in 165TC (.994) between 1B (27G/15GS) and LF (20G/14GS)…in 53 games with the Bees, hit .346/.434/.527 (65-for-188) with 31R, 17 doubles, 1 triple, 5HR, 31RBI and 31BB…in his final 15 games with Salt Lake, drew 12BB while striking out just once…was designated for assignment on 12/23/16, outrighted on 1/5/17 and elected free agency on 1/11/17…
Limited to 23 games last season but posted a .290 (20/69) average with five doubles, a home run and 18 RBI with Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle) and the AZL Mariners. Suffered a broken leg March 4 in the 9th inning of Seattle's Cactus League opener vs. San Diego... Played in first minor league game of the season Aug. 12 with the AZL Mariners... Went 3-for-12 in five games with the Club before being moved to Triple-A... In 18 games with the Rainiers, hit .298 (17/57) with four doubles, a home run and 16 RBIs. Participated in the Dominican Winter League, batting .231 (12/52) with a double, triple, three home runs and nine RBI in 15 games for the Estrellas de Oriente. Signed a minor league contract with Baltimore in the off season before being selected by the Angels in the Rule 5 Draft , Dec. 10.
Appeared in 74 games with AAA Tacoma (70 G) and AA Jackson (4 G)during the season…hit .282 (70x248) with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs and 35 RBI... Opened the season batting .394 (13x38) with a 1.045 OPS in ﬁrst 9 gamesbefore serving 50-game suspension... Hit .318 (21x66) with 13 runs, 4 home runs and 10 RBI over his ﬁnal 28games (July 30-Sept. 1)... On MLB suspended list April 17-June 9 (50 games) after testing posi-tive for a performance enhancing substance... Appeared in 14 games for Tigres de Aragua in the Venzuelan WinterLeague (.220/11x50, 10 R, 2 2B, HR, 7 RBI)…experimented with switch hitting.
Hit .295 (125x424) with 64 runs scored, 36 doubles, 6 triples, 18 home runs, 85 RBI and 63 walks in 122 games combined between A High Desert (4/4/-6/2), AA Jackson (6/3- 8/18) and AAA Tacoma (8/19-9/2). One of 20 minor league players to record at least 60 extra-base hits. Career-high 21-game hitting streak from April 27-May 22, 3rd-longest in the California League (.422/35x83, 20 R, 15 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 13 BB). Promoted to Jackson on June 4…appeared in only 61 games with the Generals, finished T2nd on the team with 9 home runs, including a team-high 2 grand slams (6/29 vs. Birmingham and 7/31 vs. Huntsville). Also appeared in 13 games with Tacoma to close out the season.