Musachio had also been undrafted, but played a year in the minors for the Chicago White Sox organization. He saw an uncommon drive in Brosseau, an inner confidence that could help him outlast more heralded prospects.
“Pro ball’s not for everybody,” Musachio said. “Night in and night out, you’re going up against electric arms, the relentless grind of professional baseball — I’m not going to call scouts unless I feel really good about the makeup of the young man being able to handle that life and that failure. If you don’t have a strong psyche and a lot of mental and emotional resilience, you’re going to get eaten alive — and we knew Mike wouldn’t.”
Brosseau reported to the Gulf Coast League and hit .319. At two Class A levels in 2017, he hit .321. The Rays then sent him to Perth, Australia, and he hit .427 in a winter league. He kept climbing the minor-league ladder, and he never stopped hitting.
“The tools didn’t stick out when he came to us — they were OK — but he got better,” said the Rays senior adviser Mitch Lukevics, the team’s farm director when Brosseau signed. “He got stronger, he had the will to learn, he did it without complaint — and he hit. And when you hit, you hang around. And when you hang around, you get an opportunity.”
The Rays emphasize versatility, so Brosseau learned how to play every infield position, as well as left field. By June 2019, just three years after that meeting at the Red Ox, he had earned his way to the majors, pushed by minor league coaches with the same vigor Musachio had shown Bonnici.
“Our player development pounded the table for this guy to get an opportunity,” Rays Manager Kevin Cash said. “‘You’re going to love him, he can help you win in so many ways, his intangibles are off the charts — and on top of that, he’s a really good baseball player.’”