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Rays' No. 1 prospect Baz set to debut Monday vs. Blue Jays

Youngest pitcher to debut for Rays since 2004
Posted at 11:13 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 02:39:06-04

ST. PETERBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays number one prospect Shane Baz will make his highly-anticipated Major League debut Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field.

The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher began the season in Double-A and quickly worked his way to Triple-A. He took part in the MLB Futures All-Star Game and pitched for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.

In five Triple-A starts with Durham since returning from Tokyo, Baz has a 1.57 earned run average with 31 strikeouts and three walks in 23 innings pitched.

"The Olympics were definitely nerve-wracking," Baz said. "Kind of even more with no fans there, so you didn't really have the buzz of the crowd to keep you into it. It was strange, but it was great. I think I was more nervous for that than I am now. So I think it will be good."

The Rays have already debuted top prospects Wander Franco, Vidal Brujan, Josh Lowe and Taylor Walls this season.

Tampa Bay acquired Baz as the third player, along with Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow, in a 2018 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Chris Archer.