Mike was at the center of a classic moment in baseball history with his Game 5, series-clinching home run in last year’s ALDS…the blast came against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, who had been on the mound as tensions ran high after a 100.5 mph fastball sailed past Mike’s head earlier in the season in New York…Mike responded the next day with a pair of homers and capped off the improbable season storyline with his unforgettable home run off Chapman to send the Rays to the ALCS…Manager Kevin Cash called it “the best moment I’ve been a part of in baseball.”...Mike donated his bat from the Game 5 home run to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown...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 made his major league debut on June 23, 2019 at OAK and had eight college teammates and staff travel from across the country to be there...He was high school teammates with Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea and was in the starting lineup to face his old friend for the 2019 AL Wild Card Game in Oakland...Mike is “obsessed” with his dog, Doc, a border collie…he earned the name for being highly intelligent…Mike adopted him at 8 weeks old in 2017 while with Class-A Bowling Green...He grew up a Cubs fan in northwest Indiana, known locally as “The Region”…his godfather was an executive at the Chicago Tribune, which owned the team at the time…Mike lived a young fan’s dream with gifted seats near the dugout and behind the plate, and the occasional field pass.
Was on the active roster for the entire season, appearing in 36 games and making 23 starts (8-3B, 7-1B, 7-2B, 1-LF)…sixteen of his 23 starts came against left-handed starters...Hit .333/.383/.738 (14-for-42) vs. LHP, with nine of his 14 hits going for extra bases (5-2B, 4-HR)… his .738 SLG vs. LHP ranked 7th in the majors, and his 1.121 OPS ranked 11th in the majors...Hit .188 (3-for-16) with RISP and was hitless in 8 AB with RISP and 2 out…in comparison, hit .306 (15-for-49) with the bases empty and .297 (11-for-37) with runners on base...Hit .429 (6-for-14) with 3 HR and 7 RBI in 7 games (3 starts) against the Yankees...Made his first career Opening Day roster and started at second base facing Hyun Jin Ryu...On July 30 at ATL, started at first base for the first time in the majors...On Aug 9 vs. NYY, hit a two-run homer off James Paxton in the seventh inning, the front end of back-to-back shots with Brandon Lowe as the Rays overcame a 3-0 deficit and won in the ninth...On Aug 11 at BOS, hit a leadoff homer off Martín Pérez in his first career start as the leadoff hitter…was the seventh leadoff homer at Fenway Park in Rays history...On Aug 14 at TOR, made his fourth career pitching app and struck out Randal Grichuk, his only batter faced…became the second position player in franchise history to record a strikeout on the mound, following Wade Boggs on Aug 10, 1999 vs. BAL (struck out Delino DeShields)...according to StatCast, his 63.6 mph curveball was the slowest pitch to result in a strikeout since HOU Zack Greinke’s 63.6 mph eephus got a swinging strikeout of Kyle Seager on Sep 25, 2019 at SEA...On Aug 19 at NYY, hit a go-ahead, pinch-hit RBI single off Zack Britton in the eighth inning…marked his second career hit as a pinch-hitter, following his walk-off single on Aug 17, 2019 vs. DET...On Sep 2 at NYY, hit a two-run homer in the first inning and a solo homer in the fourth…was the second multi-HR game of his career, following July 13, 2019 at BAL (G2)…it came a day after he was nearly hit in the head by a 100.5 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman, which led to the ejection of Manager Kevin Cash. POSTSEASON...Hit .250 (6-for-24) with 1 HR and 2 RBI in 14 games (5 starts)...In Game 5 of the ALDS vs. NYY, hit a go-ahead, solo homer off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning to end a ten-pitch at-bat, his first career postseason homer…entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and became the third player in postseason history to enter as a sub and deliver a go-ahead homer in a “winner take all” game, joining NYY Aaron Boone’s walk-off in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS vs. BOS and PIT Hal Smith in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series vs. NYY...His homer came on a 100.2 mph fastball, the first pitch in triple digits hit for a homer by the Rays in the pitch-tracking era (2008)…according to StatCast, it was the second time since 2008 a pitch in triple digits resulted in a postseason home run, following TEX Nelson Cruz (100.6 mph) in Game 5 of the 2011 ALCS at DET (off Justin Verlander)…it was the longest at-bat to end with a homer in a “winner take all” postseason game since data is available (2000)...In Game 1 of the World Series at LAD, recorded a pinch-hit, RBI single in the seventh inning…became the second Ray to record an RBI as a pinch-hitter in the World Series, joining Eric Hinske in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series at PHI (homer).
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.