MINNEAPOLIS — Now that Trevor May is a big-league pitcher, he no longer has lengthy bus rides that all minor leaguers endure. That’s a good thing for the most part, but it means the Twins right-hander doesn’t have as much down time to focus on one of his other hobbies: making music.
Since 2011 when he was a minor leaguer in the Phillies’ system, May has dabbled in his spare time with mixing and creating music on his computer. He first developed the hobby when he realized he needed to more than just play video games in the offseason, so he talked to his brother — who has produced music for a decade — on how to get started.
Three years later, May’s second passion has continued to grow. Those long bus rides in the minors were perfect for experimenting with different songs. Now that he’s on the more regimented schedule as he adapts to life in the big leagues, May hasn’t found as much time to create new beats.
"I’m more focused on baseball stuff, definitely, lately," said May, whose music can currently be found on SoundCloud. "I think once I get into the swing of things here — I’m starting to a little bit — I’ll get a little bit more into it and put some blocks of time aside to get working on it."
May’s knowledge of the music production industry has evolved and expanded since 2011. Back then, he befriended several Philadelphia-area musicians, including a young producer by the name of Victor Niglio. When May first met him, Niglio was a college student looking to make a name for himself in the music business.
He’s done just that. Niglio’s fan base has spiked on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, where he has 12,200 followers and 52,000 likes, respectively. May has continued to learn the tools of the trade from Niglio.
"He went from when I met him he was a 20-year old guy who was in college and nobody knew about him. Now he’s gone on a national tour," May said. "He went from, like, 200 followers on Twitter to 15,000 and he’s verified and all that kind of stuff. He’s become a pretty household name. I’ve learned a lot of what I know from him."
If May becomes a household name, it will more likely be for his baseball accomplishments than his musical acumen. That’s not to say May isn’t good and what he does musically, but the Twins hope the right-hander has a bright future in baseball. That’s why they traded Ben Revere to the Phillies prior to last season to acquire May and pitcher Vance Worley.
May recently made his big-league debut, and it was far from ideal. He walked seven batters in two innings in what proved to be a welcome-to-the-majors moment for the 24-year-old. His second was shaky, too, as he gave up three runs in 4 2/3 innings on four walks and seven hits.
He’ll take the mound again on Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. When May is warming up on the mound that night, it won’t be his own music blaring through the Target Field speakers.
Perhaps some day, though.
"I’ve never used any of my own, but I’m hoping to get some put together. I don’t really know what kind of genre I would do yet," May said. "I might do it. It’s a pretty easy way of self-promotion, I guess. I definitely thought about it, ran through some ideas."
The reception May receives from his teammates is usually pretty mixed when he plays them his music — his DJ name is Mazr, which is what Twins manager Ron Gardenhire calls him. There are plenty of different musical tastes in Minnesota’s clubhouse, with the pregame music ranging from classic rock to country to reggae to the occasional hip-hop. Rarely is house music, May’s prefered genre, played before games.
May said he’s never approached any teammates about using his music as potential walk-up songs, and as a rookie, he doesn’t have any sort of pull with the pregame music in the locker room.
"Unless you want to know about it, he won’t just come out and start talking DJ stuff," said Twins catcher Eric Fryer, who also caught May in Triple-A Rochester this season. "It’s a little different, but it’s always good for everyone to have a little hobby away from the field. It kind of gives you a little bit of an escape so when you come back here you’re focused and ready to get going down to business. If you just let this wear on you over and over, it can kind of take its toll mentally, so you need an escape whether it’s reading, fishing — a lot of guys go fishing. His is music, so it’s great."
May said he’s already gotten to know a few music connections in the Twin Cities, where he hopes to be playing baseball — and maybe some music, too — for years to come. He’s not to the point where he makes all of his own music like well-known DJs Deadmau5 or Calvin Harris, but the trial-and-error process is something May enjoys.
"The number of times you delete everything and start over is ridiculous," May said. "I have some folders of 20 versions of the same song, and 19 of them are terrible but I thought were good for some reason at the time. It’s a lot of watching YouTube tutorials and a lot of just messing with stuff and seeing how it works. . . .
"It’s something that I enjoy doing, especially because we have four months where we don’t play baseball at all. It makes no sense to sit there and think about baseball all day. It’s fun. It’s almost like my job in the offseason."