Mike is believed to be the seventh U.S.-born non-drafted free agent to sign with the Rays and make his major league debut for them…followed Trevor Enders, Lee Gardner, Jorge Cantú, Brian Stokes, Elliot Johnson and Kirby Yates… he debuted last year on June 23 at OAK and had eight college teammates and staff travel from across the country to be there...Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea was high school teammates with Mike…he was in the lineup to face his old friend and teammate on the mound in last year's AL Wild Card Game…Mike offered a small head nod as he dug into the box and received a subtle one back...Mike is obsessed with his dog, Doc, a border collie…he earned the name for being highly intelligent…Mike adopted him at eight weeks old in 2017 while with Class-A Bowling Green...He grew up a Cubs fan in northwest Indiana… his godfather was an executive at the Chicago Tribune, which owned the team at the time… consequently, Mike lived a young fan's dream with gifted seats near the dugout and behind the plate, as well as the occasional field pass...Mike attended the MLB Rookie Career Development Program in Miami in January along with Vidal Bruján and Brendan McKay… the four-day orientation program included media training, time management strategies and financial planning…he won the rock-paper-scissors tournament on the heels of Brandon Lowe's victory a year prior.
Appeared in 51 games and made 32 starts (21-2B, 11-3B) over three stints with the Rays…was on the active roster from June 22-27, July 3-Aug 27 and Sep 7 through season's end…was used exclusively off the bench after his Sep 7 recall...Became the first position player in franchise history to pitch three times in a single season… totaled 4 IP, 5 H and 2 R/ER in those 3 apps...Recorded 5 HR and 8 RBI in 8 games and 24 AB against the Orioles, but 1 HR and 8 RBI in 42 games and 108 AB against all other opponents...On June 23 at OAK, made his major league debut, playing third base, and recorded his first career hit, a 2nd-inning single off Brett Anderson...On July 3 vs. BAL, began his second stint with the Rays and hit his first homer, a solo shot off AL All-Star John Means in the 4th inning...On July 13 at BAL (G2), he and Nate Lowe both recorded multi-HR games, and they went backto-back in the 9th inning…according to Stats LLC, they became the fourth pair of rookie teammates with multiple homers in the same game, joining DET John Hicks and JaCoby Jones on Sep 5, 2017 vs. KC, CIN Jay Bruce and Joey Votto on Sep 19, 2008 vs. MIL and CHC Dee Fondy and Randy Jackson on May 16, 1951 vs. BRO…it was the first time in club history the Rays got backto-back homers from rookies...On July 22 vs. BOS, pitched the 8th inning, the first pitching appearance of his career…retired his first 2 BF, then allowed three straight hits...On Aug 17 vs. DET, recorded his first career walk-off hit, a 2-out, RBI single off Matt Hall in the 13th inning…was the first walk-off by a Rays pinch-hitter since Daniel Robertson's walk-off grand slam on July 22, 2018 vs. MIA...On Aug 19 vs. SEA, retired all 3 BF in the 9th inning, his second career pitching appearance...On Aug 27 at HOU, pitched for the second time in an 8-game span and his only run allowed in 2 IP was a solo homer to Yordan Álvarez…it was the longest relief app by a position player in club history, passing Wade Boggs, who went 1.1 IP in a 17-1 loss on Aug 10, 1999 vs. BAL...Hit .304/.394/.567 (82-for-270) with 21 2B, 16 HR and 60 RBI in 73 games for Triple-A Durham… at the time of his selection, led the International League with 57 RBI…at the time of his July 3 recall, ranked among IL leaders in avg. (.317, 7th), on-base pct. (.408, 6th), slugging pct. (.590, 5th), OPS (.998, 2nd) and RBI (58, 3rd)...Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com.
Ranked 10th in the Southern League with a .262 avg. and 9th with a .449 SLG...Was batting .220/.273/.373 (33-for-150) in 41 games through May, then hit .291/.363/.500 (64-for-220) with 9 HR and 44 RBI in 63 games from the start of June through season's end...Named SL Player of the Week for Aug 6-12, batting .500 (10-for-20) with 2 HR and 7 RBI...Missed two weeks with a left oblique strain...Hit .333/.409/.722 (6-for-18) with 2 HR and 5 RBI in the SL postseason, but the Biscuits lost the decisive Game 5 in the first round.
Split his first full professional season between Bowling Green and Class-A Charlotte… hit .321/.399/.453 (119-for-371) with 7 HR and 42 RBI between the two levels...His .321 avg. ranked 2nd among Rays minor leaguers behind Ronaldo Hernández (.332)...Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com...Hit .427/.496/.729 (41-for-96) with 11 2B, 6 HR and 32 RBI in 25 games for the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League.
Named to the Gulf Coast League postseason All-Star Team in his first professional action.