Tommy was raised by his working-class mother, Tawana Polk, and was the first Vietnamese-American to play in a major league game since 2006…he told Sports Illustrated in early 2018, "I'm from a background where my mom kept it so real. My mom would be like, 'Man, look, I don't have no money to get you nothing for Christmas, I don't have no money to get you nothing for your birthday. I'm sorry. I gotta pay the bills.'…All that fake s---, man, I was never raised like that"...Afflicted by keratoconus, a disease of the cornea, Tommy's vision and career were in jeopardy… the condition was discovered after poor vision was suspected to be at the root of his struggles in the minors…he underwent a radical new procedure in 2011…"Miracle, I think, is the best term to describe him," said Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, one of his specialists…he is now an ambassador for the National Keratoconus Foundation and often answers questions on social media based on his experience with the condition..."I've always been different," Tommy says…he believes full devotion is required to be great…"I just want to be able to say that when I leave the game, I gave everything I have to be the best me"...Tommy's favorite rapper is Fabolous, but he used Jeezy's music as his walk-up last season because it was the rapper's final year before retirement...He spent some of his offseason free time binge-watching shows such as Gotham and Narcos on Netflix...The highlight of his offseason was an ATV tour in Colombia…he and fellow major leaguers Tim Beckham, Mallex Smith and Billy Hamilton took a three-hour tour of Medellín, getting an up-close look at nearby mountains, creeks, farmlands and the city...Tommy spent the offseason training in Miami, where he's spent the last two winters.
Was acquired from the Cardinals at the non- waiver trade deadline and appeared in 39 games, all starts (35-LF, 2-CF, 2-DH), for the Rays...His .343 avg. with the Rays was higher than any other player traded in the week leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline...The Rays went 27-12 (.692) with him in the starting lineup…they went 5-6 when he was on the 10-day DL, Aug 3-15, with a right foot fracture...Combined to score a career-high 102 runs between the Cardinals (67) and Rays (35)…only four other players in baseball matched his combination of runs, home runs (21) and stolen bases (15): BOS Mookie Betts, CLE Francisco Lindor, CLE José Ramírez and MIL Christian Yelich...Is one of nine players in baseball to record at least 15 HR and 15 SB in each of the last two seasons, joining Tim Anderson, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Yasiel Puig, José Ramírez, Mike Trout and Christian Yelich...After returning from the 10-day DL on Aug 16, ranked among AL leaders in avg. (.355, 1st), on-base pct. (.452, 2nd), slugging pct. (.645, 4th) and on-base plus slugging (1.097, 3rd)...Ended the season on a 32-game on-base streak, longest active in the majors and tied for the 4th-longest in club history…hit .388/.479/.711 (47-for-121) over that stretch…is the longest on-base streak by a Ray since Evan Longoria (34) spanning 2012-13 and was the longest single-season on-base streak by a Ray since Johnny Damon's club-record 39-game stretch in 2011...Recorded a career-long 17-game hitting streak from Aug 21-Sep 14, batting .391 (27-for-69) over that span…tied for the 4th-longest streak in club history and was two shy of tying the club record...On Aug 25 vs. BOS, hit his first homer as a Ray, a solo shot off Brandon Workman...Hit 6 3B, all coming in September in just 26 games played…prior to that, hit only 2 3B in 248 career games…was the most triples by any player in a calendar month since ARI David Peralta (6) in July 2015…established a club record for triples in September…the only Ray to record 6 3B in any month previously was Carl Crawford (6 in July 2006, 8 in July 2004)...Recorded 5 2B, 6 3B and 5 HR in September, becoming only the third AL player in the DH era with at least 5 2B, 5 3B and 5 HR in any calendar month…joined Hall of Famers CWS Harold Baines in August 1984 and KC George Brett in August 1977…became the first player in either league to do this in September since PHI Dick Allen in 1964...Hit .248/.311/.399 (87-for-396) with 14 HR, 41 RBI and 10 SB in 98 games (90 starts) with the Cardinals…at the time of the trade, was tied for 6th in the NL with 67 runs...Played 12 games for the Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League.
Recalled (5/5) from Memphis (AAA) and played in 128 games, posting single-season highs in nearly every offensive category. Started 116 games in the outfield (85- LF, 30-CF, 1-RF) ... Became the Cardinals first 20 HR/20 SB player since Reggie Sanders in 2004 and only the 6th player overall in Cardinals history to do so. He is the only 20/20 Cardinals player with a .300 BA ... Was one of only seven qualified MLB players to record at least a .300 average, .400 on-base percentage, and .500 slugging percentage ... Led the Cardinals and ranked 3rd in the N.L. with a .411 on-base pct. Finished in the Top 15 in the N.L. in batting (.306, 11th), slugging (.520, 15th) and OPS (.931, 12th) ... Scored a team-leading 95 runs, T10th in the N.L ... Ranked 2nd in the National League and 4th in MLB with a .368 average on batted balls in play ... Had a 7.37 runs created/27 out mark, ranking 9th in the National League.
Began the season on the Opening Day roster, but injured his left oblique during batting practice on Opening Day at PIT (4/3) and left the game after one at-bat...Missed 37 games before being activated 5/17 and optioned to Memphis (AAA). Played in 10 rehab games in Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA) from 5/4-15, batting .250 (8-32), HR, 5 RBI...Played 37 games for Memphis, batting .236 with 3 HR and 17 RBI, while hitting .367 with runners in scoring position...Had multi-home run games at SEA (6/26) and vs. MIA (7/15)...Scored a season-high three runs at MIA (7/29) in an 11-6 win...Pinch-ran at SF (9/17), stole 2nd base and scored the game-tying run as the Cardinals rallied in the 9th inning for a 3-2 win...Hit first career pinch-hit HR at CIN (8/2), a go-ahead solo shot off Blake Wood in the 8th inning...Tied his career-high hitting streak at six games from 7/6-16, batting .500 (9-18, 3 HR) during the streak...Made starts at all three outfield positions (LF-11, CF-25, RF-1).
Rookie outfielder split time between Triple-A Memphis and St. Louis after beginning the year on the disabled list…Opened the season on the disabled list, missing April and May with a left quad strain suffered on 3/13 vs. MIA during spring training. Was activated from the 60-day disabled list on 6/5 and optioned to Memphis…Was recalled to the majors on 7/3 and stayed with St. Louis until 7/19…Hit his first Major League double on 7/4 in a game he batted leadoff and also stole his first base in the majors…Hit his first MLB home run on 7/5 off Ian Kennedy and had all 3 RBI in the team's 3-1 win vs. SD…Recalled a 2nd time by St. Louis on 8/17 and finished out the season in the majors…Had 17 extra-base hits among his 41 total hits with STL (7-2Bs, 5-3Bs, 5 HR)…Had 7 game-winning RBI, T4th-most on the team. Tied among N.L. leaders for 1st with 5 GWRBI in September. Hit home runs for the GWRBI on both 9/13 and 9/20…Batted 2nd in the majority of his starts with St. Louis (16 starts) hitting .317 (19-60). Started six games from the lead-off spot.. From 9/15 to end of season was 5th in the N.L. with a .688 SLG pct. (3-HR, 3-3B, 2-2B) and had a .333 batting average…Recorded his longest hitting streak 9/19-24, six games in which he hit .364 (8-22, 1-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 3-RBI)…Had his 1st career multi-homer game on 9/16 at MIL with 2 home runs and a triple. Followed that game with a 2nd 3-hit game 9/17 at MIL with 1B, 2B and 3B…At Memphis batted .327 (56-171) in 48 games, stealing 9 bases. Played mainly centerfield (42 games), appearing in left twice…Before his final recall to STL in August, was hitting .356 (21-59) with 14 RBI during the month…Over his last 23 games at AAA hit .354 (29-82) with 10 multi-hit games and 17 RBI…While with Memphis hit .377 with runners in scoring position (20-53) with 32 RBI…Named by Baseball America in the Best Tools Survey as the best defensive outfielder in the Pacific Coast League.
Played 104 games at Memphis (AAA) before being purchased and called up to St. Louis on September 8...Appeared in six games in St. Louis as a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner and defensive replacement in left and right field...Made Major League debut after 699 career minor league games, at Cincinnati (9/9), as a pinch-hitter...Ranked among Cardinals minor league leaders in batting (.324, 4th), runs (63, 7th), hits (112, 10th), triples (6, T5th), stolen bases (20, T4th), slugging (.491, 5th), on-base pct (.395, 6th) and OPS (.886)...Ranked 3rd in the Pacific Coast League in batting (.324) and 4th in on-base percentage (.395)...Named PCL Player of the Week (8/4-10) batting .500 (14-28), 2 HR, 7 RBI with back-to-back four-hit games (8/9-10), setting a Memphis record...Became the first player in Memphis Redbirds history to have 4 hits, 4 runs and 4 RBI in a single game, doing so 8/9 vs. New Orleans...Tallied 33 multi-hit games, including eight 3-hit games and two 4-hit games...Batted .340 or better in three straight months with a .396 average in May, .343 in June and .380 in July...Had nearly even splits against left-handed pitchers (.319) and right-handed pitchers (.325)...Listed as the "Best Defensive Outfielder" in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America's "Best Tools" survey.
Played in 75 games between Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA)...batted .301 in 45 games at Springfield being elected to the North Squad in the Texas League AllStar Game; was replaced by teammate Chris Swauger due to injury...tied for 2nd among Cardinals minor leaguers with seven triples...suffered a chain of injuries shortening season including left oblique, left shoulder strain and concluded the season with left shoulder surgery...rated as the "Best Defensive Outfielder" in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America's "Best Tools" survey.
Played in 12 games at Springfield (AA) due to a left shoulder injury that ended his season on 4/19...began the season 1-16 before hitting his first home run on 4/12.
Played in 40 games, starting 37 in centerfield at Springfield (AA) before a hand injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season on 6/5...Named "Best Outfield Arm" in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America's "Best Tools" survey...had six outfield assists.
Ranked in the Top 10 of Cardinals minor leaguers in doubles (27, T7th), walks (60, 5th), stolen bases (17, 5th) and on base percentage (.394, 9th)...named "Best Outfield Arm" in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America's "Best Tools" survey...had 10 outfield assists between Palm Beach and Springfield.
Played in 114 games at Palm Beach (A) starting 107 in centerfield...ranked 2nd on Palm Beach in triples, trailing only Adron Chambers who led all of Minor League Baseball with 16...tied his then single-season best of 18 stolen bases ...batted .348 (31-89) with runners in scoring position.
Split the season between Palm Beach (A) and Quad Cities (A)...posted career-best totals with 18 home runs, 56 RBI and 18 stolen bases between the two affiliates...hit first career grand slam off Steve Vento at Peoria (6/11)...named Midwest Player of the Week for the week ending 5/19, batting .333 with three lead-off home runs and 10 RBI...had a career-high 13 outfield assists between Quad Cities and Palm Beach...named "Best Outfield Arm" in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America's "Best Tools" survey.