By Jerry Del Priore
Patience and perseverance pay dividends.
Just ask left-hander Brandon Mann, who made his major league debut Sunday against the Houston Astros, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the Texas Rangers after a 16-year wait.
Mann, a 27th round selection of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2002 MLB draft, climbed a major league mound for the first time just three days before his 34th birthday.
On the road to the majors, Mann has pitched for five different MLB organizations. In addition, the Des Moines, Washington, native played in Japan for two years. Plus, he had two stints in the independent Atlantic League—one with Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in 2010 and another with the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2014.
Also, in 2015, he pitched for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the independent American Association.
Mann inked a minor league free agent contract with the Rangers during the winter. This season, Mann had a brilliant start with the AAA Round Rock Express. In 12 appearances, the veteran minor leaguer allowed only eight hits in 17.1 innings of work while posting a sparkling 1.04 ERA. His impressive performance led to his promotion to Texas.
Mann has pitched a total of 3.1 innings in two MLB tilts this campaign and has no surrendered a run thus far.