In June 2002, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays selected left-hander Brandon Mann out of a Washington high school with their 27th round draft pick. He received a $47,500 signing bonus soon thereafter and started his professional career.
On Sunday, Mann finally reached the big leagues. The Texas Rangers have called up the well-traveled southpaw four days short of his 34th birthday.
Rangers have purchased the contract of LHP Brandon Mann from Round Rock. LHP Yohander Mendez optioned to Round Rock. Mann has 1.04 ERA in 12 games for Express.— John Blake (@RangerBlake) May 13, 2018
In 17 pro seasons prior to being called up, Mann suited up for 17 different teams and five different major league organizations, going from the Rays (2002-09) to the Dodgers (2010) to the Pirates (2014) to the Athletics (2016-17) to the Rangers (2018) with stops in Japan (2011-12) and independent leagues (2010, 2014-15) along the way.
In those 17 pro seasons Mann has a 4.35 ERA with 7.5 K/9 in 1,270 2/3 total innings. He's done it all -- started, relieved, whatever. The Rangers plan to use him out of the bullpen, and since he's a southpaw, there's a good chance he'll be called on for left-on-left matchup work at some point.
On Sunday, Mann ended up going 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit. Here's some footage:
It's unclear how long the Rangers plan to keep Mann in the big leagues, but just reaching MLB after all that time in the minors (and overseas and in independent leagues) is a tremendous accomplishment. Mann's waited a very long time for this day and he pitched well.