From undrafted to The Show: Oakland U's Mike Brosseau gets called up by Rays
Mike Brosseau's rise to the major leagues wasn't only rapid.
It was wildly unconventional.
Brosseau went undrafted out of Oakland University and signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays in the summer of 2016. He was in A-ball in 2017, Double A in 2018 and Triple A in 2019.
And he was promoted by the Rays on Saturday, after batting .313/.406/.579 with 14 home runs and a league-leading 57 RBIs at Triple-A Durham this season.
Brosseau becomes the second-ever Oakland player to get to the major leagues, joining right-handed pitcher Don Kirkwood, who played five seasons in the 1970s with the Angels, White Sox and Blue Jays.
"I think my whole career has been kind of that underdog story, coming from being that undrafted guy and having that label," Brosseau told the Tampa Bay Times this weekend. "But I had that first sense of confidence getting invited to spring training by the Rays last year and that was obviously a confidence booster, and then having this call, having them willing to take that chance on me, I just want to do the right things to prove them right."
Brosseau, 25, was in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday and available for that day's game, but didn't play in the Rays' 4-2 loss to the A's.
A native of Munster, Ind., Brosseau played four years at Oakland, mostly shortstop, and was a two-time All-Horizon League selection. As a senior, he led the Horizon League in on-base percentage (.456), was second in home runs (10) and slugging percentage (.571), and batted .354 with 49 runs.
Brosseau, 5-foot-10 and 215 pounds, is one of five Oakland players to have more than 200 hits in his career, and he's top 10 in program history in games, runs, double, home runs and total bases.
"A lot of excitement, a lot of organizational excitement (today)," Rays manager Kevin Cash told the Times. "We talk about it, anytime a guy from our system gets called up, this is pretty unique. ... A lot of people are pumped up in the Tampa Bay Rays organization today to see him activated on the big-league roster."
Brosseau wasn't even among the Rays' top 50 prospects by FanGraphs entering this season. He replaces infielder Daniel Robertson, who's out with a left knee sprain.