On December 11, 2017, Joey was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be announced later, who turned out to be C Jonah Heim.
He batted .300 with seven home runs and 61 RBIs in 139 games for the Rays in his first full season in the majors, almost repeating his minor league performance at a higher level.
The Rays admired his adaptability, which allowed him to fit seamlessly into their system of replaceable parts, with the sum always outweighing the individual parts in true gestalt form.
That was the case in 2019, when they made the playoffs despite not having any actual superstars on the squad. Wendle, on the other hand, had a down year that year, batting .231 in 75 games and saw his OPS+ drop from 118 to 71.
In the Division Series against the Houston Astros, he went 2-for-10, his first postseason experience.
He rebounded in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, hitting .286 with 4 homers and 17 RBIs in 50 games (of a total of 60 played by his team). The Rays advanced to the World Series this time, and he saw plenty of postseason action.
When Did Joey Wendle Get Drafted?
Joey Wendle was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft by the Cleveland Indians.