José told The Athletic that he often played cards with "much older people" as a kid, once taking so much of the table's money he was told to return his winnings at gunpoint...When he was 14, José dropped out of school to help support his family by working at La Parcela, a small farm, where he picked fruit...He grew up admiring fellow lefthander Dontrelle Willis and Venezuelan infielder Melvin Mora...When he's not with his family, José enjoys hunting iguanas and paca, a large rodent found in Central and South America…he frequently catches 3-foot iguanas and says they taste like chicken...He has a daughter, Victoria (6), and son, Dylan (3).
Recorded a 2.39 ERA, best among Rays relievers, in his first full major league season…ranked 2nd on the pitching staff with 70 apps and 3rd with 8 saves…at 22 years, 312 days, was the youngest Ray to make the Opening Day roster since Matt Moore in 2012...His avg. fastball velocity was 97.4 mph, according to FanGraphs, a mark equaled by only two lefties in baseball: NYY Aroldis Chapman (98.9) and PIT Felipe Vázquez (98.1)…his max velocity, according to StatCast, was 100.3 mph in his outing on April 28 at BOS...Held opponents to a .183 avg. (42-for-229), including a .217 avg. (15-for-69) with RISP and a .133 avg. (4-for-30) with RISP and 2 outs...Yielded 1 HR in 64 IP…min. 50 IP, his 0.14 HR/9 IP ratio was the best in the majors and 2nd in club history behind Roberto Hernández (0.12) in 1999...His 32 holds tied teammate Chaz Roe for the AL lead...he and Roe tied for 3rd in Rays history, behind Joel Peralta in 2013 (41) and 2012 (37)...Recorded the most holds by any lefty since PIT Tony Watson (41) in 2015, and tied SEA Arthur Rhodes (2001) for the 2nd-most ever by an AL lefty, behind MIN J.C. Romero (33) in 2002...On April 30 at DET, recorded his first career save, preserving a 3-2 win...earned his first career win on July 10 vs. DET, after not allowing a baserunner over a season-high 2 IP... On June 26 vs. WAS, played an interesting role in a 1-0 victory…he entered to begin the 9th inning, walked Bryce Harper, then moved to first base while Chaz Roe struck out Anthony Rendon…he then returned to the mound, yielded singles to Juan Soto and Daniel Murphy to load the bases, before Sergio Romo recorded the final two outs for the save…he became the first pitcher to also appear at first base in a 9-inning game since MIL Chuck Crim on June 6, 1989 at TOR…was the first pitcher in club history to appear defensively at another position…Romo joined this list when he appeared at third base on July 25 vs. NYY...On June 29 vs. HOU, induced a Marwin Gonzalez fielder's choice for his second career save…was the fifth time in club history a pitcher recorded a 1-pitch save, first since Fernando Rodney on April 7, 2012 vs. NYY...Spent the last 5 games leading up to the All-Star break on the Family Medical Emergency List...Compiled a 2.10 ERA (25.2-IP, 6-ER) in 29 apps after the All-Star break and a 1.72 ERA (36.2-IP, 7-ER) over his last 43 apps beginning June 12...From the start of August through the end of the season, struck out 46.7 pct. (35 of 75) of batters faced…allowed only 9 hits and 6 BB...Crafted a 1.47 ERA (18.1-IP, 3-ER) against the Red Sox and Yankees…held them to a .131 avg. (8-for61) without yielding an extra-base hit.
Made 35 apps with the Rays spanning three stints in the majors, his first career major league action…was on the active roster from May 3- June 27, Aug 4-13 and Sep 5 through season's end.... Did not allow a run in his last 14 apps spanning two stints, from Aug 4 through the end of the season…opponents hit .190/.227/.214 (8-for-42) over this stretch, which lowered his season ERA from 5.89 to 3.64... Averaged 98.2 mph on his fastball, according to StatCast…his max velocity of 100.9 mph was the fastest by a Ray since Fernando Rodney (101.1) in 2013...With his May 3 recall from Double-A Montgomery, was the first Rays call up to bypass Triple-A for his major league debut since Scott Kazmir in 2004…Hunter Wood did the same with his late-May call up…made his major league debut that night vs. MIA and allowed 3 R/ER in the 7th inning.... Debuted at 21 years, 347 days and became the fourth pitcher in club history to take the mound before his 22nd birthday, joining Scott Kazmir, Chad Gaudin and Dan Wheeler... Pitched to a 14.54 ERA (4.1-IP, 7-ER) over his last 6 apps prior to his June 28 option to Triple-A Durham…yielded at least 1 run in 5 of those 6 apps, and suffered 3 losses over that span.... In his second stint, struck out 9 of his 16 BF spanning 5 apps, all scoreless…on Aug 4 vs. MIL, made his first major league app since June 24 vs. BAL and struck out all 3 BF on a total of 9 pitches…was the third "immaculate inning" in club history, following Brad Boxberger on May 8, 2014 vs. BAL and Rafael Soriano on Aug 23, 2010 at LAA....Averaged 12.13 SO/9 IP (29.2-IP, 40-SO) over 25 apps between Montgomery and Durham.... WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: Pitched for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic during spring training, making 3 apps…earned the victory in a 4-3 comeback win over Italy in a tiebreaker game in Guadalajara, Mexico, going 2.1 IP in relief.
Made 37 apps between Class-A Bowling Green and Class-A Charlotte, combining for a 3.06 ERA (70.2-IP, 24-ER) and 85 SO…was used ex-clusively in relief for the first time since his 2012 debut season. Held left-handed hitters to a .184 avg. (14-for-76) with 1 HR and 28 SO between the two levels. Issued 55 BB in 70.2 IP for 7.00 BB/9 IP and 1.55 SO/BB ratios. All 10 apps for Bowling Green were 2 IP or lon-ger…averaged 12.4 SO/9 IP there to earn a pro-motion to Charlotte on May 16. Logged a 5.56 ERA (22.2-IP, 14-ER) in his first 15 apps with the Stone Crabs, but finished the season with a 2.31 ERA (23.1-IP, 6-ER) over his final 12 apps. Made 9 apps for the Tiburones de La Guaira of the Venezuelan Winter League, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA (9.1-IP, 2-ER) and 13 SO. Listed by Baseball America as one of three Rays farmhands to touch 100 mph according to scouts, front office officials or PITCHf/x data, along with Ryne Stanek and Diego Castillo. Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 28 prospect in the Rays organization following the season.