Rays Prospect Spotlight: Mikie Mahtook

At this point, the name Mikie Mahtook should ring synonymously in your head with the word "future". Every sign points to Mahtook becoming an everyday MLB outfielder, and not just a starter - but a true star. Over the next three days we will be profiling the 21 year old from Louisiana, including an exclusive interview he granted to Rays Digest on Saturday.

The Tampa Bay Rays' farm system was dubbed the second best overall in Major League baseball by Baseball America in 2011. This should come as no surprise; the Rays have continually developed and fielded players from their own system rather than inheriting high priced free agents from other organizations. For a team with the second lowest payroll in baseball, in-house development is essential.

Enter Mikie Mahtook.

Mahtook was the Ray's second selection and 31st overall player picked in June's amateur draft.

Most MLB prospects typically take time to adjust to the higher level of competition found in the upper echelons of minor league baseball. Mahtook, though, is coming off an exhilarating junior season at LSU in which he earned first team All-American honors for the first time in his college career. He hit .383 with 12 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs and 56 runs batted in for the Tigers in 56 games last season. Remarkably, he also reached base in all 56 of those games.

Mahtook played primarily center field and right field for LSU, but his skills are projected to translate to any outfield position at the big league level.

ESPN Analyst John Mayo cites Mahtook as having excellent bat speed and strong mechanics that will make him an "above average hitter at the next level".

In addition to his prowess at the plate, Mahtook's base-running, speed and strong accurate arm make him as close as you'll find to a complete player. He also seems to have a natural instinct for the game. What some might call "swagger"?

His current success and play in the Arizona Fall League is no surprise. In 14 games, Mikie is hitting .352 with one home run, eight runs batted in and five stolen bases. His .400 on base percentage, .481 slugging percentage and .881 OPS are all pretty consistent with his play at LSU. It's too early, though, to accurately sample these numbers as an entire body of work.

Still, it looks as though the Rays may have scored another potential All-Star caliber player in Mahtook. If he gets off to a good start in the minor leagues, Mahtook could ascend quickly through the Rays' farm system. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to see Mahtook called into action as early as mid-2012. His experience playing Division I NCAA baseball gives him an edge over other Ray's prospects in the system, and his selection to the Arizona Fall League's Rising Star game means that there are a lot of baseball people that think he is very close to being big league ready.

Rays Digest Senior Editor John Gregg spoke at length with Mahtook on Saturday, and over the next two days the site will be publishing that interview in its entirety. For a taste of what's to come, here are some audio clips from the Mahtook interview: (click on links to hear audio)

Mikie Mahtook on why he missed AFL Rising Stars game.

Mikie Mahtook on what level he may be assigned to.

Mikie Mahtook on using Twitter.

RaysDigest.com Recommended Stories

  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next


2 Fans online
    Join The Conversation