Robbie threw thee no-hitters in high school as a senior, including a 5-inning perfect game
In 2011, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Ray as the 15th-best prospect in the Nationals' organization. He was at #17 in the winter before 2012 spring training, and at #18 early in 2013.
After coming to the Tigers, the book had Robbie at 4th-best in the Detroit farm system heading into 2014 spring training. Then, in the spring of 2015, they ranked Robbie at #7.
But by the time the book was published, Ray had been traded to the D'Backs, and was rated 11th-best in Arizona's organization.
In 2014, Ray went 1-1, 2.45 with a 1.36 WHIP in 11 innings of work in the AFL. Ray left the Arizona Fall League early to get married on Nov. 7.
Ray got the call of his life in 2014 when the Tigers were in need of a starting pitcher because Anibal Sanchez had to be placed on the disabled list. Ray went 1-4 in nine appearances for the Tigers, including six starts.
Though his ERA left a lot to be desired (it was 8.16), Ray impressed the scouts in the Diamondbacks organization. So, when the D-backs were gearing up to trade shortstop Didi Gregorius to the Yankees, they made their move to acquire Ray from the Tigers, the third team involved in the deal.
The D-backs thought they were getting a great pitcher in the deal, but they didn't know they were getting a team lifer. Ray's mom tweeted out a photo of her son from way back in Little League ... when he was also a D-backs pitcher, wearing his Little League D-backs uniform. (Bertha - mlb.com - 3/1/15)
In 2017, Ray was chosen to represent the Diamondbacks in his first MLB All-Star game.
July 13, 2017: Ray found himself looking around the National League clubhouse at the All-Star Game and just taking it all in.
"Being in that clubhouse with all those guys, a lot of big-name guys, it was humbling, it was exciting and I enjoyed every minute of it," Ray said. "I don't even know if there's a word to describe it, really. It was just really, really awesome. I just kind of soaked it all in, sat at my locker, looked around and saw all the big-name guys. To be in that room with those guys, it was something special." (S Gilbert - MLB.com - July 15, 2017)
July 28, 2017: Ray was back resting at the team hotel after taking a line drive off the left side of his head in the second inning of the D-backs' 1-0 loss. Cardinals first baseman Luke Voit hit a ball 108.1 mph that hit Ray flush in the head and careened into foul ground by third base, where Daniel Descalso made a diving play on it for the out.
Ray immediately dropped to the ground holding his head as D-backs medical personnel tended to him. Arizona infielders and Voit surrounded the mound and took a knee. Trainers held a towel to the side of Ray's head where there was blood.
"It happened so fast," Descalso said
"It happened so fast," Descalso said. "I knew the ball hit Robbie somewhere and popped up in the air, and I just went after it, caught it and then tried to go check on him as fast as I could. Everything happened so fast, I didn't realize it hit him in the head."
Ray was moved into a sitting position and then helped onto a motorized cart. The crowd at Busch Stadium gave him a standing ovation, and he waved in appreciation.
"Those are things you never forget," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said
"Those are things you never forget," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I got out there and he was on his back and his eyes were open. That was the first thing that I saw, and I was very grateful for that. Knowing he was able to answer questions and [assistant athletic trainer Ryan DiPanfilo] got out there as fast as he could. I knew we were in good hands."
Ray underwent a CT scan at a local hospital, which checked out well according to Lovullo, and needed some stitches in his head. Ray then returned to the ballpark to shower before heading back to the team hotel. Ray was entered into Major League Baseball's concussion protocol.
It was an emotional night for the D-backs, who were more worried about the health of their teammate than the loss. Reliever Archie Bradley was one of those most affected. He was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Carlos Gonzalez two years ago. And he was sitting in the bullpen when Ray got hit.
"It made me sick to my stomach," Bradley said
"It made me sick to my stomach," Bradley said. "Heart started beating fast, stomach started hurting. Especially when you're that close with a guy, baseball really goes out the window. Robbie's got a family, wife and a kid watching the game at home, and that's where my head was. You forget about the game. You forget about everything else. "I was just kind of waiting to hear what the word and status of Robbie was."
Voit was visibly shaken by what had happened, and he stayed near the pitcher's mound until Ray was put on the cart. He had to change his jersey before the start of the next inning because he had gotten Ray's blood on it when he gave him a hug.This is not the first time this 2017 year that Voit has seen a pitcher get hit in head. He was a teammate of Daniel Poncedeleon at Triple-A Memphis when Poncedeleon was struck in the head by a line drive and had to have surgery to relieve the pressure around his brain.
"I sent him a tweet and [send] best wishes to his family and friends," Voit said TRANSACTIONS
"I sent him a tweet and [send] best wishes to his family and friends," Voit said. "It's scary. Role reversal, that could happen to me when I'm being pitched to. I just hope he can continue pitching for the rest of the year. It's a scary situation. I don't wish that on anyone." The D-backs were relieved when word was passed through the dugout and bullpen late in the game that Ray was doing well. (S Gilbert - MLB.com - July 29, 2017)
June 2010: Robbie signed with the Nationals for a bonus of $799,000 after they chose him in the 12th round, out of Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee. That pulled him away from a commitment to the University of Arkansas on the last day before the August 16 deadline. Paul Faulk is the scout who signed him.