Zac Veen of the National League steals second base against Curtis Mead of the American League during the third inning of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The top prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, second baseman Curtis Mead, has been called up to the Major Leagues and will replace starting pitcher Shane McClanahan on the roster.
McClanahan landed on the 15-day injured list with tightness in his left forearm.
Mead, 22, is ranked No. 31 on MLBipipeline.com, and was born in Adelaide, Australia. He is the 37th player from Australia to play at the Major League level.
Mead began his professional career with the Philadelphia Phillies after he signed as an international free agent with a minor league contract on May 4, 2018. He played one season in 2019 in the Gulf Coast League at the rookie level for the Phillies before being traded to the Rays on November 20, 2019 for Cristopher Sanchez.
This season, Mead split his time between Triple-A Durham and at the complex level after being placed on the 7-day Injured List with a wrist injury on May 7.
Mead has played in 50 games at both levels with 225 plate appearances, batting .283 and recording 54 hits, 17 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 32 RBI, and 28 walks with a .809 OPS.
Last season, Mead played in 76 games between Triple-A Durham and Double-A Montgomery, batting .298 with 331 plate appearances and recording 84 hits, 27 doubles, 13 home runs, 50 RBI, 33 walks and a .922 OPS.
During the 2021-22 offseason, Mead played in the Arizona Fall League with the Scottsdale Scorpions, batting .313 in 20 games with 89 plate appearances, 26 hits, five doubles, two triples, three home runs, 11 RBI, four walks, and a .890 OPS.
In 2021, Mead rapidly rose through the Rays farm system playing from Low-A Charleston, High-A Bowling Green, and Triple-A Durham after not playing in 2020, when there was no minor league season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Mead batted .321 in 104 games between all three levels with 458 plate appearances recording 132 hits, 38 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 69 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and 34 walks along with a .911 OPS.
Mead has spent four seasons in the Australia Baseball League during the winter seasons with the Adelaide Giants, playing in 115 games with 419 plate appearances and batting .302 with 116 hits, 18 doubles, 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 28 walks and a .799 OPS.
Rays manager Kevin Cash will have many options at second base with Yandy Diaz, Isaac Parades, and Brandon Lowe alongside Mead’s presence in the lineup.
The Rays, at 66-45, are in second place in the American League East and are two games back of the first place Baltimore Orioles at 67-42.
The Rays play the first game of their three-game series on the road against the Detroit Tigers at 6:40 p.m. EDT.