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Rays Prospect Jake Mangum is Making a Great First Impression

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For Rays prospect Jake Mangum, the last few months have been full of change. The Mississippi State product was traded to the Rays in December as the player to be named later in the Vidal Brujan deal. In his first spring training as a Ray, Magnum has been a hits machine. 

Through 12 at-bats, the talented outfielder has posted a .500 batting average and stolen three bases. He also showed some power, as three of Magnum’s six hits have gone for extra bases. Following an impressive 2023 campaign, he has picked up where he left off. 

While Mangum has yet to make his MLB debut, he drew the Rays’ interest due to his ability to get on base. In 328 minor league games, he has posted a .289 batting average. The Flowood, Mississippi, native has also recorded 71 doubles and stolen 61 bases.

Due to the Rays’ depth, Mangum will likely start the season in Triple-A. Their outfield is currently headlined by Josh Lowe, Jose Siri, and Randy Arozarena. However, if injuries arise, Magnum could be a player that the Rays turn to. 

For Mangum, his focus is on soaking in everything he can while improving his game.

“The first thing I thought when I got traded was Tampa’s reputation of minor league development and winning at every level,” Mangum said after joining the Rays in December.” The Durham Bulls, for example, are always at the top of the Triple-A league. I’m excited to get in the room and learn their philosophies and how they do things. I want to be a sponge, soak it all in, and be the best baseball player I can be.”

Although Mangum has impressed at the plate, he makes an impact in other ways. He can play all three outfield positions. He added five assists to his resume during the 2023 campaign and only committed one error. 

Regardless of what level starts the season, his mentality will stay the same, which is a welcome sign for the Rays. 

“ I’m going to play as hard as I can every day,” said Mangum. “ That’s the one thing I can promise. I’m going to give you all I got. Hopefully, I can help win some ballgames and I’m excited for the opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.”

While Mangum has a small sample size this spring, his play has been hard to ignore. He is showing great discipline with sneaky good power. That is one of the reasons why he has been one of the best hitters in the minors since being drafted.

As the former Bulldog star has made the most of his opportunities in camp, he has provided a preview of the future. With the ability to move around the outfielder, he has the potential to be a valuable piece for the Rays. If he continues to hit, Mangum’s value will only increase as he looks to make an impact in his new organization. 

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