Prior to graduating from Concordia Lutheran (Texas) High School, Baz was a highly-touted prospect who caught the attention of college coaches and amateur scouts with a 98 mph fastball…among those who watched him pitch in high school was Hall of Famer and Texas native Nolan Ryan, who was an advisor for the Astros...On the same day he signed with Texas Christian University in November 2016, he learned his mother, Tammy, beat breast cancer and was declared cancer-free…he chose to sign with the Horned Frogs so his parents and family had several opportunities to see him play in person…he eventually decided to forgo college after being drafted in the first round by the Pirates.
Limited to six starts with the Rays due to injuries… was on the active roster from June 11–July 12...Underwent arthroscopic surgery on March 21 to remove loose bodies from his right elbow, performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas...Began a throwing program from 45 feet on April 7, progressed to throwing from the bullpen on April 26 and threw live batting practice beginning on May 9…went 2 IP in an extended spring game on May 14 and officially began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on May 19...Experienced right elbow discomfort while playing catch on July 12 and placed on the 15-day IL the next day…was evaluated on July 14 by Dr. Keith Meister…received an injection and advised to try a program of rest, treatment and rehab…continued to feel discomfort in throwing sessions and underwent Tommy John surgery on Sep 28, performed by Dr. Meister in Dallas. Spanning the 2021-22 seasons, allowed four hits (or fewer) in the first seven starts of his career… marked the longest such streak to start a career by a traditional starter in franchise history...On June 11 at MIN, was reinstated from the 60-day IL for his season debut…retired his first 6 BF before opening the third inning with a single, back-to-back walks and grand slam by Luis Arraez, the first grand slam allowed in his career...From June 17–July 3, became the third age-23 (or younger) starter (4th time) in club history to make four consecutive starts of one run (or fewer), following Matt Moore (4) in 2012 and Scott Kazmir in 2007 (four) and 2006 (four)...On June 17 at BAL, started on his 23rd birthday and yielded two hits in six scoreless innings… became the third Ray to make a scoreless start on his birthday, joining Corey Kluber (4.2 IP) on April 10, 2022 vs. BAL and Jeremy Hellickson (8.2 IP) on April 8, 2012 vs. NYY…became the youngest pitcher to go least six scoreless innings with 7 SO (or more) on his birthday since CAL Marcelino López pitched a three-hit shutout with 12 SO on his 23rd birthday on Sep. 23, 1966 vs. BAL...On July 10 at CIN, allowed seven ER and three HR in the 3rd inning, both the most by a Rays pitcher in a single frame since Jalen Beeks yielded 7 ER and 3 HR in the 3rd inning on July 22, 2019 vs. BOS… yielded two-run shots to Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson and Mike Moustakas, joining Paul Abbott in the first inning on May 3, 2004 at TEX as the only pitchers in franchise history to allow three HR with runners on in a single frame…the Stephenson homer marked the first time in his career he allowed one on a 3-0 pitch...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 32 overall prospect in the minors following the season… was the No. 1 prospect in the Rays system…the publication also tabbed him as having the Best Fastball in the organization for a fourth consecutive year and Best Slider in the organization for a fifth consecutive year.
Selected on Sept. 20 from Triple-A Durham and finished the season in the Rays rotation...On Sept. 20 vs. TOR, made his major league debut at 22 years, 95 days and became the third-youngest Ray to start and win his major league debut behind Scott Kazmir (20.212) on Aug. 23, 2004, at SEA and Joe Kennedy (22.013) on June 6, 2001, at TOR…78.5 pct. (51 of 65) of his pitches were strikes, the highest for a starting pitcher in his major league debut since pitches were first tracked in 1988, according to Stats LLC…his only hits allowed in five IP were solo homers to Teoscar Hernández and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. …became the third Rays pitcher to go five IP (or more) and allow two hits (or fewer) in his debut, joining Brendan McKay on June 29, 2019, vs. TEX and Blake Snell on April 23, 2016, at NYY...On Sept. 26, vs. MIA, pitched 5.2 scoreless innings and improved to 2-0 to begin his major league career…joined Jeremy Hellickson in 2010 as the only Rays pitchers to start their major league career with back-to-back outings of five IP (or more) and three hits (or fewer)…recorded nine SO, the most for a Rays pitcher within one of the first two apps of his career since Wade Davis (9) on Sept. 6, 2009, vs. DET…at 22 years, 101 days, he became the youngest Rays pitcher with nine SO (or more) since Matt Moore (22.096) on Sept. 22, 2011, at NYY (11)...Named Minor League Pitcher of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department…went 5-4 with a 2.06 ERA (78.2-IP, 18-ER) and 113 SO in 17 starts between two levels…began the season with Montgomery and made seven starts there before earning a June 15 promotion to Durham…tied for fifth among Rays minor leaguers in strikeouts…at the time of his Sept. 20 call up, led Triple-A East with a 1.76 ERA (min. 10 starts)...Min. 70 IP, led minor league pitchers with a 8.69 SO/BB ratio…ranked sixth among Rays minor leaguers in strikeouts...Named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June, going 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA (29-IP, 3-ER) and 42 SO in six starts between two levels…pitched five perfect innings June 9 vs. Birmingham, his last start before receiving a promotion to Durham...Made the AL Team for the All-Star Futures Game, his first career selection, pitching a perfect 2nd inning with a pair of strikeouts...Pitched for Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (July 30–Aug. 7, 2021) and won a silver medal…named to the U.S. Team roster July 2, along with then-Bulls teammate Joe Ryan and future Rays teammate David Robertson…started against Japan in Game 1 of the modified double-elimination bracket, his only Olympic appearance, and yielded 5 hits, 2 runs and three BB in 2.2 IP of a no decision…Team USA lost, 7-6, on a walk-off single in the 10th inning before defeating the Dominican Republic in the repechage and South Korea in the semifinals to advance to the Gold Medal Game, where they again lost to Japan, 2-0...Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 8 overall prospect in the minors following the season…was the No. 1 prospect in the Rays system…the publication also tabbed him as having the Best Fastball in the organization for a third consecutive year and Best Slider in the organization for a fourth consecutive year...POSTSEASON: Started Game 2 of the ALDS vs. BOS and took no decision, yielding three runs in 2.1 IP including a solo homer to Xander Bogaerts, his last batter faced...Became the second pitcher in major league history to start a postseason game with three (or fewer) career regular season appearances up to that point, joining TB Matt Moore in Game 1 of the 2011 ALDS at TEX…was the second-youngest pitcher in postseason history to start against the Red Sox behind 21-year-old NYM Dwight Gooden in the 1986 World Series.
Was part of the Rays 60-man player pool and spent the summer at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte…ranked by Baseball America as the No. 6 prospect in the Rays system following the season…the publication also tabbed him as having the Best Fastball in the organization for a second consecutive year and Best Slider in the organization for a third consecutive year.
Made 17 starts for Class-A Bowling Green in his first full season in the Rays organization… made eight apps (one start) for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, and named to the AFL Rising Stars Game…ranked by Baseball America as the No. 71 overall prospect in the minors following the season…was the No. 5 prospect in the Rays system.
Acquired from the Pirates as the player to be named from the July 31 trade involving Chris Archer…at the time of the trade, was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in the Pirates system…ranked by the publication as the No. 11 prospect in the Rays system following the season.