Justin grew up with extremely limited means, leaving him unable to participate in many extracurricular activities due to cost…he relied on his travel coach, Chad Raley, to take him to tournaments and provide necessary equipment… he believes Chad is a big reason he was noticed by scouts... Justin's love for baseball stemmed from playing games such as hitting rocks or foam footballs with a broomstick handle…from there, the game's coupling of physical ability with intelligence drew him in... Justin quickly developed a strong relationship with former Rays minor league hitting coordinator and current hitting coach Chad Mottola… he appreciated how Mottola never attempted to change his approach physically, but instead focused on his mental game... His childhood idol and role model was Ken Griffey Jr. …he admired how "The Kid" impacted the game in all phases... Justin attended the MLB Rookie Career Development Program in Washington D.C. in January along with Jake Bauers and Ryan Yarbrough…the four-day orientation program included media training, time management and financial planning.
Named Most Valuable Player for Double-A Montgomery by the Rays Baseball Operations department…spent the entire season with the Biscuits, recording a career-high 14 HR, 72 RBI, 37 BB and 53 runs... Ranked 2nd among Rays minor leaguers in home runs, one shy of Jesús Sánchez…finished 3rd with 72 RBI, behind Sánchez (82) and Brett Sullivan (74)…his .301 avg. was 7th among Rays minor leaguers and marked the third time in five minor league seasons he hit .300 or better... Named to the Southern League postseason AllStar Team…finished the season ranked 4th in the SL in avg. and 3rd with a .489 SLG... Missed nearly all of May with a left knee contusion…was on the disabled list from May 5-29... Named the Rays Minor League Hitter of the Month for August, batting .333/.411/.677 (31-for93) with 8 2B, 8 HR and 28 RBI... Totaled 3 HR and 6 RBI on Aug 30 vs. Mobile (Angels)…it was the second 3-HR game in Biscuits history, joining Tyler Goedell in 2013... Was called up to Triple-A Durham for the International League playoffs…hit .333 (4-for-12) with 1 2B and 3 BB in 4 games... Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com... Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in the Rays system and No. 16 prospect in the SL following the season.