What a month of June it was for the Tampa Bay Rays’ number five prospect, Shane Baz. It all started in the middle of the month, so let’s take you back through the month it was for Baz.
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Shane Baz promoted to Triple-A Durham
On June 15th, 2021 Shane Baz was called up from the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits, up to the Triple-A Durham Bulls. In seven games with the Montgomery Biscuits, Baz pitched to a 2.48 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, and a .182 opponent batting average.
Baz also racked up 49 strikeouts in only 32.2 innings pitched, breaking down to 13.50 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. However, what might be most impressive for Baz is the walk numbers.
In 2019, Baz walked 37 hitters in 81.1 innings, breaking down to 4.09 walks per nine innings pitched. During his time in Double-A, Baz walked only two hitters, breaking down to 0.55 walks per nine innings pitched.
Since his promotion to Triple-A, Baz has made four starts, pitching to a 1-0 record, with a 1.42 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, .169 opponent batting average, and 13.26 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Not only did his incredible strikeout numbers follow him to Triple-A, but his walk numbers did as well. Baz has only walked six hitters so far in Triple-A, in 19 innings pitched.
Shane Baz selected to the 2021 Futures Game roster
On June 30th, Major League Baseball announced rosters for the 2021 Futures Game. The Tampa Bay Rays had two players selected to represent their organization, one of which being Shane Baz.
Along with Baz, his Durham Bulls teammate Vidal Brujan was selected to represent the Rays. So far in 2021, Brujan is hitting .259 with Durham, with a .344 on-base percentage, .471 slugging percentage, and a .815 OPS.
What has been most surprising about Brujan in 2021, his power. Brujan has hit nine homers so far this season in only 49 games. Brujan only hit four home runs in 2019 in 99 games.
Shane Baz named Tampa Bay Rays MiLB Pitcher of the Month
Like I mentioned in the stats above, Shane Baz has been nothing short of incredible in June, which is the main reason he was named the Tampa Bay Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Month in June.
Shane Baz named to the United States Olympic Baseball roster
The honors continued into July for Shane Baz. On July 2nd, USA Baseball named Shane Baz a member of the team heading to Tokyo to compete for the gold medal.
Baseball will return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 this year, and many former, and current Tampa Bay Rays players will be there. To see all of the Tampa Bay Rays’ ties to the United States roster, click here.
With all the honors, it will be a busy month of July for Baz. He will likely make another start for Durham before heading to Denver for the Futures Game on Sunday, July 11th. Then Baz will have just a week before heading to Tokyo to represent Team USA.
After Baz returns from the Olympics, I imagine he will spend the rest of the Minor League season with Durham, and be ready to help the Tampa Bay Rays come September.