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Tampa Bay Rays

Prospects Overview

Top 30 Prospects

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Player Reports

  1. 1. Wander Franco | SS
    Wander Franco
    Born: Mar 1, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Danny Santana.

    Hitting: 80. Power: 60. Run: 50. Field: 50. Arm: 55.
    Track Record: The No. 1 prospect in the 2017 international signing class, Franco has managed to exceed lofty expectations throughout his teenage years. He hit .339 in the offense-stifling Florida State League in his first full season as an 18-year-old—the third straight level he hit over .300—and began the year as the No. 1 prospect in baseball before spending the 2020 season at the Rays’ alternate training site. Franco’s time at the alternate site pushed him. He has long played against older players, but against pitchers with major league experience, he was pressed even further. He showed well enough that the Rays added him to their postseason taxi squad before he ever appeared in a major league game. He traveled with the team throughout the postseason and participated in pregame workouts, including during the World Series.

    Scouting Report: Franco is an exceptionally advanced hitter for his age. The switch-hitter’s compact, level stroke and above-average bat speed from both sides of the plate grant him a controlled aggression most young hitters can’t match. His bat control allows him to make consistent hard contact while rarely striking out. He also has an innate ability to adjust his swing, leaving few holes for pitchers to attack. Franco stings the ball and has plus power potential, but his level swing leads to more line drives and ground balls than fly balls. He has shown in team competitions that he can put on a show in a home run derby. Franco’s body has already filled out. He is an average runner who will have to work to keep his speed with a thick, muscular lower half. Defensively, Franco’s soft hands, above-average arm and solid understanding of the game give him a shot to stay at shortstop, where he’s a potentially average defender. The Rays played him at second base and third base at the alternate site to help prepare for the possibility he could break into the majors at another spot. He has the tools to be an above-average or even plus defender at second or third.

    The Future: Few prospects come close to Franco’s likelihood of being a productive regular or all-star thanks to his exceptional hitting ability. He’s more likely to win a batting title than a home run crown but has the chance to produce plenty of power as well. The Rays have a crowded infield, and Franco is unlikely to push Willy Adames off shortstop, but his bat and glove are ready to produce for the Rays in 2021 at any infield position. His bat should clear his path to St. Petersburg, even if he begins the season in Triple-A.

  2. 2. Randy Arozarena | OF
    Randy Arozarena
    Born: Feb 28, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba 2016.
    Signed By: Ramon Garcia (Cardinals).

    Hitting: 55. Power: 60. Speed: 70. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55
    Track Record: When the Rays acquired Arozarena in a trade that sent touted lefthander Matthew Liberatore to the Cardinals, it seemed like a high price to pay. Those concerns quickly faded. A positive coronavirus test delayed Arozarena’s 2020 debut until Aug. 30, but he was one of baseball’s best hitters in September and then for the Rays in the playoffs. He hit seven home runs through the ALCS, breaking the rookie record for homers in a single postseason.

    Scouting Report: Arozarena’s electric hands and bat speed allow him to catch up to fastballs up in the zone, and he’s gotten strong enough to do damage. He has solid pitch recognition skills, and his bat-to-ball ability has stood out for years through a long track record of hitting for average and getting on base. Arozarena takes some massive swings, but there’s a method to it—his swing gets bigger in advantageous counts. Defensively, Arozarena is a fast-twitch athlete with plus-plus speed and an excellent burst, but his poor routes need to improve to make him more than an average defender.

    The Future: Arozarena’s postseason was one for the ages, but he’ll have to make adjustments as the league sees more of him and finds his weaknesses. Most evaluators see him settling in as a .270 hitter with 20-25 home runs and 10-15 steals.

  3. 3. Luis Patino | RHP
    Luis Patino
    Born: Oct 26, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 192
    Drafted/Signed: Colombia, 2016.
    Signed By: Chris Kemp/Andres Cabadias. (Padres)

    Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Curveball: 45.Control: 50.

    TRACK RECORD: Patiño's fastball sat in the mid 80s when he signed with the Padres for $130,000 in 2016, but he rapidly gained weight and strength and was touching 99 mph by the 2019 Futures Game. Patiño spent the coronavirus shutdown in 2020 working out with fellow Colombian pitcher Jose Quintana in anticipation of his major league debut. That debut came on Aug. 5, and Patiño spent the bulk of the season pitching out of the Padres' bullpen as a 20-year-old. The Rays acquired him in the trade that sent Blake Snell to San Diego after the season.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Patiño's strong lower half and electrifying arm speed allow him to generate explosive 94-99 mph fastballs. It's a plus-plus, swing-and-miss fastball with late life up in the zone, but he overthrows it when he gets too amped up and gets wild as a result. Patiño's tilting, biting mid-80s slider is another swing-and-miss pitch at its best, but he also struggles to locate it consistently. He commands his firm changeup better than his slider and gets swings and misses over the top when he dials it back to 85-87 mph. He also has an 82-84 mph curveball he can land for strikes early in the count to give batters a different look. Patiño pitches with a lot of emotion and adrenaline. He shows above-average control when he slows down and keeps a balanced tempo.

    THE FUTURE: The Padres broke Patiño in as a reliever but still viewed him as a future starter. He has mid-to-front of the rotation potential if he can manage his energy level and control.

  4. 4. Vidal Brujan | 2B
    Vidal Brujan
    Born: Feb 9, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2014.
    Signed By: Danny Santana.

    Hitting: 60. Power: 40. Speed: 80. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.
    Track Record: The Rays spent big on the 2014 international class, including signing No. 1 prospect Adrian Rondon for $2.95 million. But Brujan, a $15,000 signing, looks like the best of the group. He quickly outpaced Rondon and finished the 2019 season at Double-A Montgomery. The Rays brought him to their alternate training site in 2020, then added him to their postseason taxi squad.

    Scouting Report: The speedy Brujan is a throwback to when leadoff hitters got on base and immediately stole second. He’s stolen 151 bases in five minor league seasons, including 48 in 2019. A switch-hitter, Brujan is hard to strike out with his excellent bat control and has sneaky power from the left side. His righthanded swing doesn’t have much power. Brujan is a versatile defender who moved from shortstop to second base when he signed but looked capable when the Rays played him at short again in 2019. He has just enough arm for the position, but his accuracy has to improve and he tends to rush in his throws. He got some work in center field at the alternate site and could be a rangy center fielder with his elite speed.

    The Future: The Rays have a crowded infield situation, but Brujan’s hitting ability, speed and athleticism should get him to the majors in due time.

  5. 5. Shane McClanahan | LHP
    Shane McClanahan
    Born: Apr 28, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: South Florida, 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Brett Foley.

    Fastball: 70. Curveball: 60. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 45
    Track Record: McClanahan had Tommy John surgery at South Florida but recovered to become one of the top pitchers in the 2018 draft class. The Rays drafted him 31st overall and signed him for just over $2.2 million. He spent most of 2020 working five-inning stints every fifth day at the alternate training site but moved to the bullpen as the major league playoffs neared. The Rays added him to their postseason roster, and he became the first pitcher in history to make his debut in the postseason.

    Scouting Report: Few lefthanders can match McClanahan’s fastball velocity, which sits 95-98 mph as a starter and touched 101 in the playoffs. What’s even better is his 86-88 mph breaking ball. McClanahan can throw it tighter with more of a curveball shape or turn it into a wipeout slider that starts in the middle of the plate and ends up at a righthanded hitter’s feet. In either form, it’s a pitch that finishes hitters. McClanahan’s fringe-average changeup plays up when he throws it with conviction. His control has improved as he’s gotten better at maintaining a regular pace to his delivery, but it’s still fringe-average.

    The Future: McClanahan’s improvements to his changeup and control give him a chance to start. His big fastball and wipeout breaking ball would also fit in high-leverage relief.

  6. 6. Shane Baz | RHP
    Shane Baz
    Born: Jun 17, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Tomball, Texas, 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: Wayne Mathis (Pirates).

    Fastball: 70. Slider: 70. Curveball: 40. Changeup: 45. Control: 40.
    Track Record: The Rays getting Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow from the Pirates for Chris Archer is a heist of a trade, but the fact that they also acquired Baz as the player to be named seems like piling on. Baz, the 12th overall pick in the 2017 draft, had a solid Rays organizational debut in 2019 before struggling in the Arizona Fall League. He spent 2020 at the Rays’ alternate training site.

    Scouting Report: Much like Glasnow, Baz has responded well to the Rays’ tweaks to his approach. He’s now pumping upper-90s, high-spin, four-seam fastballs up in the strike zone and pairing them with a dastardly plus-plus 84-87 mph slider with tight, two-plane break. Everything else is still a work in progress. Baz’s tempo in his delivery is too energetic and his lower half isn’t always in sync with his arm, leading to below-average command and control. His fringe-average changeup improved at the alternate training site, but still has further to go. His curveball has become less of a factor every year.

    The Future: Many scouts are confident Baz will wind up in the bullpen as a potentially dominant reliever. The Rays still see a path for him to be a starter, noting he’s still quite young and has continued to improve his control. .

  7. 7. Carlos Colmenarez | SS
    Carlos Colmenarez
    Born: Nov 15, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Danny Santana.

    TRACK RECORD: For some scouts, Colmenarez was the best player in the 2020-21 international signing class. He's a well-rounded player who has the unusual mix of explosiveness and great tools combined with easy actions on both sides of the ball at a premium position.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Colmenarez has a pretty lefthanded swing that's compact, efficient and stays through the hitting zone for a long time, helping him make frequent contact and drive the ball to all fields. It's a calm, easy swing with good rhythm and balance. He has generally performed well in games, though there are times when he could benefit from tighter plate discipline. Even though Colmenarez is not that big (5-foot-10, 175 pounds), he's strong for his size with above-average bat speed, leading to above-average raw power. He has toyed around with hitting from the right side, which might be an option, but just from the left side he could develop into a plus hitter with plus power. An average runner, Colmenarez projects to stick at shortstop. He's a smooth defender with a quick first step, good lateral agility, footwork and body control. He has soft, quick hands, exchanging the ball swiftly to an arm that earns plus to plus-plus grades.

    THE FUTURE: Like everyone else in the 2020-21 signing class, Colmenarez has yet to play a game in pro ball yet, but he has all the attributes in place to develop into an impact player.

  8. 8. Brendan McKay | LHP
    Brendan McKay
    Born: Dec 18, 1995
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 212
    Drafted/Signed: Louisville, 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: James Bonnici.

    Fastball: 60. Cutter: 55. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 60.
    Track Record: McKay was a two-way star at Louisville and won the Golden Spikes Award in 2017. The Rays drafted him fourth overall that year and signed him for just over $7 million. McKay raced to the major leagues, debuting in 2019 and pitching 49 innings and hitting his first career home run. He was expected to be a part of the Rays’ plans in 2020, but he was delayed by a positive coronavirus test and then had season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in August.

    Scouting Report: While McKay’s power in the batter’s box is intriguing, the Rays have shifted his focus to pitching exclusively. McKay’s control and command have always been his biggest calling card. He locates all four of his pitches for strikes, helping them play up beyond their raw qualities. McKay’s 92-95 mph fastball was his best pitch in the minors, though it was less effective in the majors with its modest movement. His above-average 87-89 mph cutter avoids barrels as his main secondary. His curveball is an average offering and he busts out his average mid-80s changeup against righties. McKay struggled to put away hitters in his first big league stint, and now must see what his stuff looks like post-surgery.

    The Future: Shoulder injuries have a lower success rate for full return than elbow injuries, and McKay’s future outlook is muddied by his shoulder surgery. The Rays hope he’ll be ready in the spring.

  9. 9. Xavier Edwards | 2B/SS
    Xavier Edwards
    Born: Aug 9, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Coconut Creek, Fla., 2018 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Brian Cruz (Padres).

    Hitting: 60. Power: 30. Speed: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 45.
    Track Record: Drafted 38th overall by the Padres in 2018, Edwards hit .322 and finished tied for third in the minors in hits in his first full season. The Rays acquired him with Hunter Renfroe in the trade that sent Tommy Pham and Jake Cronenworth to San Diego. The Rays sent Edwards to their alternate training site in mid August, where he joined the organization’s collection of middle infielders with excellent bat-to-ball skills.

    Scouting Report: Like White Sox second baseman Nick Madrigal, Edwards is a smallish second baseman who rarely strikes out, consistently puts the barrel on the ball and can run with plus speed. But also like Madrigal, the switch-hitting Edwards’ plus hitting ability is tempered by concerns about his lack of power. Edwards has gotten a little stronger and will post 100 mph exit velocities on his hardest hits, but he still hits more balls in front of outfielders than in the gaps. He’s a patient hitter with nearly as many walks (75) as strikeouts in his career (79), so he may get on base enough to make up for his lack of slugging. He’s an efficient basestealer and reliable defender, although his fringy arm is stretched at shortstop.

    The Future: Edwards fits the Rays’ desire for athletic, multi-positional players. He projects as a table-setter who’s contact and speed-based game is a throwback to earlier eras.

  10. 10. Cole Wilcox | RHP
    Cole Wilcox
    Born: Jul 14, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 232
    Drafted/Signed: Georgia, 2020 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Tyler Stubblefield. (Padres)

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 45.

    TRACK RECORD: Scouts viewed Wilcox as a potential first-round talent out of high school, but his strong commitment to Georgia deterred teams from picking him early. After struggling with his control as a Bulldogs freshman, Wilcox went 3-0, 1.57 with 32 strikeouts and two walks in four starts as a drafteligible sophomore before the college season shut down in 2020. He dropped to the third round because teams were wary of his bonus demands, but the Padres stopped his slide and signed him for a third round-record $3.3 million. The Rays acquired him in the trade that sent Blake Snell to San Diego after the season.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Wilcox is a big, physical righthander at 6-foot-5, 232 pounds with stuff to match his size. His fastball ranges from 93-97 mph with natural sink and run and touched 99 in short bursts at the alternate training site. His slider is a powerful offering at 86-89 mph with short, three-quarters break and projects to above-average when he stays on top of it. His hard changeup mirrors his fastball and dives with heavy sink at 85-87 mph. Wilcox has the physicality and durability to start, but he lacks a soft offering and his control can be inconsistent. As such, many observers predict a bullpen future.

    THE FUTURE: The Padres will give Wilcox every chance to start. How his command and control progress will determine his ultimate role.

  11. 11. Nick Bitsko | RHP
    Nick Bitsko
    Born: Jun 16, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Doylestown, Pa., 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Zach Clark.

    Fastball: 70. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 40. Control: 45
    Track Record: Bitsko reclassified from the 2021 draft to 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic canceled his high school season before he got to throw a pitch. Teams scouted him exclusively off his bullpen sessions, and the Rays saw enough to draft him No. 24 overall and sign him for an above-slot $3 million to forgo a Virginia commitment. With the canceled season, Bitsko threw just 33 innings in his high school career.

    Scouting Report: Bitsko has the traits of a major league starter with a physical 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame and a clean delivery. His fastball sits 92-96 mph and touches 98, and he pairs it with a hard, high-spin downer curveball that’s been up to 2,500 revolutions per minute. Both project to be plus or better pitches. Bitsko has shown a feel for a changeup, but it’s sometimes a little firm and lacks deception. He throws everything out of a high three-quarters release point which allows him to work up and down the strike zone.

    The Future: Bitsko is very young and will take time, but he has the building blocks to be a mid-rotation starter. If he makes it to low Class A in 2021, he would be the first Rays high school pitcher in the last decade to see full-season ball in his first full season. .

  12. 12. JJ Goss | RHP
    JJ Goss
    Born: Dec 25, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Houston, 2019 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Pat Murphy.

    Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 55
    Track Record: Goss entered 2019 as the No. 2 starter on Houston’s Cypress Ranch High team, behind Matthew Thompson. He graduated to co-ace after a strong senior season as his stuff ticked up. At pick No. 36, Goss was drafted nine spots earlier than Thompson, but Thompson’s $2.1 million bonus edged out Goss’ $2,042,900.

    Scouting Report: Goss showed at instructional league that his stuff is only continuing to get better. His above-average 90-96 mph fastball in high school was sitting 92-95 and touching higher in instructs. He has solid feel and a steady maturity on the mound. His hard high-80s slider is average now and with his feel for spin it should eventually at least be above-average. His changeup isn’t as consistent and needs to add either a little more action or a little more separation but he has feel and comfort with it and it should continue to improve. Goss’ body has room to fill out further, which gives hope for further projection.

    The Future: Goss’ stuff is already major league-caliber, and it should just continue to get better. His delivery, knack for pitching and composure make him a safer bet to remain a starter than most young arms. He has potential to be a mid-rotation starter. He should be ready for full-season ball in 2021.

  13. 13. Joe Ryan | RHP
    Joe Ryan
    Born: Jun 5, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Cal StateStanislaus, 2018 (7th round).
    Signed By: Alan Hull (Rays).

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 40. Curveball: 30. Changeup: 50. Control: 55.
    Track Record: A poorly timed lat injury crushed Ryan’s draft stock in 2017, but a solid season after transferring to Division II Cal State Stanislaus made him a seventh-round steal for the Rays in 2018. He broke through in 2019 and finished second in the minors with 183 strikeouts as he climbed three levels to Double-A. The Rays added him to their 60-man player pool and brought him to their alternate training site in 2020.

    Scouting Report: Ryan’s fastball plays better than its 92-96 mph velocity and average spin rate indicate. He backspins the ball well and hides it in his delivery, leading to lots of swings and misses up in the zone. Ryan dominated the low minors almost exclusively with his fastball, so facing more advanced hitters at the alternate site helped him realize he needed to develop his secondaries. His fringy slider has surpassed his below-average curveball, but neither is consistent. Ryan’s 83-85 mph changeup is his best secondary offering. It comes out of his hand looking like his fastball and has at least average potential, but he still uses it only sparingly.

    The Future: Ryan was a fast mover in 2019, but he still has a ways to go before he is ready for the majors. The development of his secondaries will be critical in 2021.

  14. 14. Greg Jones | SS
    Greg Jones
    Born: Mar 7, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: UNC Wilmington, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Joe Hastings.

    TRACK RECORD: Jones was considered one of the more intriguing prospects of the 2017 high school class thanks to his speed, switch-hitting ability and his glove at shortstop. He made it to UNC Wilmington and followed up a mediocre freshman year and strikeout-filled Cape Cod League appearance with an excellent sophomore season (.341/.491/.543) that carried over into his pro debut.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Jones had an inconsistent summer as a late addition to the Rays' alternate training site and sat out much of instructional league with a minor knee injury. He has a discerning eye at the plate with a level swing and adequate hand-eye coordination. He coils into his back leg before exploding out of a compact stance with above-average bat speed. Jones could develop into a high on-base percentage table-setter with gap power that gives him a chance to hit 12-15 home runs a year. Once he gets on base, his plus-plus speed makes him a weapon on the basepaths. Defensively, his range, body control and plus arm are a fit at shortstop, but his hands need to get softer. Jones was limited at shortstop in 2019 because he had a sore shoulder early in his final college season. His arm bounced back in 2020. He showed plus arm strength and better accuracy. Center field is a viable backup plan.

    THE FUTURE: The pandemic means Jones will get his first full-season at-bat as a 23-year-old. He's seven months older than Juan Soto. Jones' athleticism is exciting, but he needs to make up for lost time.

  15. 15. Taylor Walls | SS
    Taylor Walls
    Born: Jul 10, 1996
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Florida State, 2017 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Brett Foley.

    TRACK RECORD: A three-year starter at Florida State, Walls has managed to carve a path for himself despite the overflow of middle infielders in the Rays' system. Even in a system with so many options, Walls has managed to establish himself as the club's best defensive shortstop, with enough bat to be a potential major league regular.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Walls is a plus defender at shortstop whose steady reliability and sticky hands are matched by above-average range and an above-average, accurate arm. Walls manages to slow the game down with an excellent internal clock. Walls can play other infield spots, but the Rays haven't had him work much at second or third because he's so reliable at short. Offensively, Walls is more likely a bottomof-the-order hitter than someone who tops a lineup. He's a switch-hitter who is comfortable against lefthanders and righthanders. Walls is an average hitter with below-average power. He's best as a pest whose bat control makes it hard for pitchers to strike him out. His above-average speed is a useful bonus.

    THE FUTURE: Where Walls fits on the Rays' roster is hard to decipher, but the more scouts from other teams have seen him, the more convinced they are that he'll be a starting shortstop. The question is whether it will be with the Rays or with another club after a trade.

  16. 16. Josh Lowe | OF
    Josh Lowe
    Born: Feb 2, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Marietta, Ga., 2016 (1st round).
    Signed By: Milt Hill.

    TRACK RECORD: The younger brother of first baseman Nate Lowe, whom Tampa Bay traded to the Rangers in December, Josh was a first-round pick out of high school as a two-way third baseman/righthander. The Rays moved him to the outfield after his first pro season, reasoning that his speed was a better fit in center. Lowe was supposed to miss time in 2020 as he recovered from shoulder surgery, but the delayed start meant he was ready for the alternate training site. The Rays added him to their 40-man roster after the season.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Lowe is a big league-ready center fielder. He is a plus defender with plus speed, and his plus arm fits in right field as well. Lowe's athleticism and defense should get him to the majors, but his bat is what could hold him back from a significant role. He's a fringe-average hitter with swing-andmiss and timing issues. His swing is a little grooved. He has struggled to handle pitchers who can locate up-and-in, as he prefers to get his long arms extended. Pitchers who do stay away can find that his average power gives him the ability to line balls the other way, and he yanks balls down-and-in over the fence.

    THE FUTURE: Lowe should be at least a fourth outfielder, but unlike most potential fourth outfielders, he has impact potential. With three plus tools on his scouting report, Lowe could be a star if he takes a big step forward at the plate, but that's a big ask for any hitter.

  17. 17. Brent Honeywell | RHP
    Brent Honeywell
    Born: Mar 31, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Walters State (Tenn.) JC, 2014 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Brian Hickman (Rays)

    TRACK RECORD: If Honeywell's career had gone as planned, he would be arbitration eligible by now. Instead he ranks as a Rays Top 30 Prospect for the seventh time. Right before he was expected to join the Rays' rotation in 2018 he blew out his elbow. He fractured his repaired elbow in 2019. Then he had a further surgery in May 2020 to remove scar tissue that was compressing his ulnar nerve in that elbow. But he returned to the mound at the alternate training site, was added to the Rays' taxi squad for the playoffs and came close to making his big league debut.

    SCOUTING REPORT: As hard as it may be to believe, Honeywell's stuff has returned to close to where it was before he missed three consecutive seasons. His average fastball is now more 91-93 mph rather than the 94-96 he flashed before his string of injuries, but his plus screwball and plus changeup are very close to what they were before. So too is his above-average mid-80s cutter. His command and control were not back yet to average in 2020.

    THE FUTURE: Honeywell was able to get back to 90% of where he was pre-injury in an abbreviated 2020. If that's where he ends up, he will be a useful big league starter and could help the Rays in 2021. If he finds a little more as he puts distance between his last surgery, he could somehow still be a mid-rotation starter, though his durability is a significant question.

  18. 18. Seth Johnson | RHP
    Seth Johnson
    Born: Sep 19, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Campbell, 2019 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Joe Hastings.

    TRACK RECORD: Losing the 2020 season may be a little more costly for Johnson than most prospects because he's still just getting started on his pitching career. Primarily a shortstop at Louisburg (N.C.) JC, he turned himself into a top 50 draft prospect when he moved to the mound for his junior year at Campbell. Johnson has just 89 innings of experience between college and pro ball.

    SCOUTING REPORT: While he didn't play in an official game in 2020, Johnson didn't let the layoff go to waste. He attacked his throwing program with intensity and added some good weight. He showed up at instructional league with a plus mid-90s fastball that can now touch 99 mph with late run and a sharp, above-average slider with high spin at 2,700 to 2,800 revolutions per minute. Johnson also has worked on a fringe-average curveball, and his average changeup has modest fading action. Johnson is athletic and has impressed with his ability to quickly improve as a pitcher. His arm works well as part of a clean delivery, and his control and command are quickly getting to average with a chance to eventually be better than that.

    THE FUTURE: Johnson just needs to wrack up the innings he hasn't been able to log yet. His present fastball/slider combo gives him a backup plan as a reliever, but his four-pitch assortment gives him a shot to be a mid-rotation starter.

  19. 19. Alika Williams | SS
    Alika Williams
    Born: Mar 12, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Arizona State, 2020 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: David Hamlett.

    TRACK RECORD: Williams is the highest drafted Arizona State shortstop since Deven Marrero was a firstrounder in 2012. Marrero is an interesting analogue for Williams. Like Marrero, Williams is considered an excellent defensive shortstop who faced questions about his bat. He hit .300/.383/.400 for his Sun Devils career.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Williams makes the shortstop position look easy because he is a fluid athlete who has such smooth actions. He's rangy with an excellent first step. His ability to be at least an above-average glove at shortstop and possibly plus is why he was a top-40 pick despite persistent questions about his bat. Williams puts the bat on the ball, but he just doesn't frighten pitchers. His contact ability makes him a bottom-of-the-order hitter who isn't a complete nothing offensively, but he projects as a below-average hitter with well below-average power.

    THE FUTURE: The Rays love to collect athletic up-the-middle defenders with contact ability. If they can unlock a little more in Williams' bat, he's a future big league regular. If not, his glove still could pave a way to a role.

  20. 20. Kevin Padlo | 3B
    Kevin Padlo
    Born: Jul 15, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Murietta, Calif., 2014 (5th round).
    Signed By: Jon Lukens (Rockies).

    TRACK RECORD: Half of the 28 high school position players drafted ahead of Padlo in 2014 have either been released or have reached minor league free agency. In other words, Padlo has been a slow mover. Drafted by the Rockies, Padlo was dealt to the Rays in 2016, along with Corey Dickerson, in the deal that surrendered German Marquez to Colorado. Padlo came close to making his big league debut in 2020, when he was part of the Rays' taxi squad.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Until 2019, the oft-injured Padlo was a slugger who didn't slug. More consistent at-bats and a better understanding of when to let loose in advantageous counts helped him start to tap into his plus-plus raw power. He's still likely a .220-.240 hitter if he plays every day in the majors thanks to a pull-heavy approach, but the Rays' clever platooning would likely keep him from facing many of the pitchers who would hamstring him. Padlo has made himself into an average defender at third base with an above-average arm, and he can also play first base. He's athletic with a decent first step, but he's a below-average runner.

    THE FUTURE: Padlo's power is real. As a righthanded slugger, he could fill a need as a platoon option, but his next stop is a return to Triple-A. He has two minor league options remaining.

  21. 21. Taj Bradley | RHP
    Taj Bradley
    Born: Mar 20, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Stone Mountain, Ga., 2018 (5th round).
    Signed By: Milt Hill.

    TRACK RECORD: The Rays take a patient approach with high school pitchers. They had even more reason to do so with Bradley, since he was young for his draft class. Instead of getting his first shot at full-season ball in 2020, his third pro season, Bradley instead had to wait for instructional league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Bradley was primarily an outfielder for most of his time in high school, and now that he's focused on pitching, his velocity has steadily climbed. He sat in the low 90s in his draft year and ticked that up to 92-94 mph in 2019. In shorter stints at instructs in 2020 he sat 94-97 mph on his best days. His plus fastball has some life, giving it swing-and-miss potential. His breaking ball keeps getting tighter. His breaking ball and his changeup are average at best, but he knows how to spot them, and he reads swings well. Bradley's intelligence and feel give him a solid chance to continue to get better.

    THE FUTURE: Bradley's lack of a plus secondary pitch makes it hard to project him as more than a No. 4 starter. For someone who has come far in a short time, he may continue to exceed projection.

  22. 22. Moises Gomez | OF
    Moises Gomez
    Born: Aug 27, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2015.
    Signed By: Juan Castillo/Ronnie Blanco.

    TRACK RECORD: Gomez turned in an outstanding debut in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2016 and an equally impressive full-season debut in the Midwest League in 2018. He hit for power but struggled to hit for average at high Class A Charlotte in 2019. The Rays left him unprotected for both the 2019 and 2020 Rule 5 drafts. He went unpicked both times.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Gomez hits the ball as hard as anyone in the Rays' system when he makes contact. He regularly stings balls with 105-plus mph exit velocities. Now he just has to figure out how to make contact more regularly. Gomez has above-average bat speed and plus power potential. His swing is quite simple, with a significant timing step as he loads with an aggressive weight transfer. But his swing has some stiffness to it. He swings through hittable pitches and his takes seem to at times be guesses, making it hard to project him as even a below-average hitter. Gomez has gotten bigger and stronger. He's still an average runner, but he is now a fringe-average defender in the corners with an average arm.

    THE FUTURE: Gomez can be a 30-home run slugger in the majors, but only if he adds more adjustability to his swing. He needs a bounce-back season in his move to Double-A.

  23. 23. Nick Schnell | OF
    Nick Schnell
    Born: Mar 27, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS-- Indianapolis, 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: James Bonnici.

    TRACK RECORD: After battling wrist and knee injuries in the past, Schnell was healthy for the first time in three pro seasons in 2020. Unfortunately, Schnell's healthy season was spent at home thanks to the pandemic.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Schnell leapt into the first round with an excellent senior year of high school where he showed plenty of home run power. That has yet to translate to pro ball, even though he shows plus raw power in batting practice. Schnell needs plenty of at-bats against lefthanders, because he doesn't seem to pick the ball up all that well against them. He also is vulnerable to pitches off the plate. Schnell's defense has steadily gotten better and he actually runs a little better now, turning in plus times at his best. He's a plausible long-term center fielder who can be an above-average defender.

    THE FUTURE: Schnell is moving slower than his peers from the 2018 first round. He has a chance to be a center fielder with plus productive power, but there's a lot of projection involved in that. A solid 2021 at Class A would help kick-start Schnell's development.

  24. 24. Josh Fleming | LHP
    Josh Fleming
    Born: May 18, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Webster (Mo.) 2017 (5th round).
    Signed By: Matt Allison.

    TRACK RECORD: Fleming led all Division III pitchers with a 0.67 ERA in 2017, which helped him become the first Webster University player ever drafted. He embellished his credentials in 2020, when he not only became the school's first major leaguer, but he pitched in the World Series.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Fleming is a modern version of the crafty lefty who used to fill the back end of many rotations. He likes to pepper the outside bottom corner against righthanded hitters, working on and off the edge of the zone with plus command. His 88-93 mph fringe-average sinker and his above-average low-80s changeup are thrown to that same spot, with the changeup's deception and fade baffling hitters looking to feast on a low-90s fastball. His below-average mid-80s slider lacks power, depth or tilt, but it pairs well as he sneaks it up-and-in on righthanded hitters looking to dive over the plate. Fleming's changeup and slider don't baffle same-side batters, so he's better against righthanded hitters. He has a quality pickoff move.

    THE FUTURE: The Rays trusted Fleming enough to insert him into their rotation and use him in their playoff bullpen. He fits best as a bulk or long reliever, and the Rays have shown they can get the most out of pitchers like Fleming.

  25. 25. Ryan Thompson | RHP
    Ryan Thompson
    Born: Jun 26, 1992
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 221
    Drafted/Signed: Campbell, 2014 (23rd round).
    Signed By: Tim Bittner (Astros).

    TRACK RECORD: Thompson went from minor league afterthought to World Series reliever in the span of two seasons. He was a dominating sidearm reliever at Campbell, going 16-3, 1.12 over 70 appearances and 161 innings in two seasons. He missed all of 2018 because of Tommy John surgery. The Rays nabbed him for $24,000 in the minor league phase of the 2018 Rule 5 draft that December. A year and a half later he finished second among Rays pitchers with 25 appearances.

    SCOUTING REPORT: As a pro, Thompson has gotten more athletic in his weight transfer into his rear leg, but he remains the epitome of a sidearm sinker/slider righthander. His plus low-90s sinker has one of the lowest spin rates in the majors, which gives it dramatically more sink than the average two-seamer to go with average run. He gave up only one extra-base hit and three flyball outs off his sinker in 2020. He'll occasionally sneak a low-90s four-seamer up in the zone to try to surprise a hitter. His plus mid-70s slider destroys normal notions of what a slider should be. It has no depth, but it runs away from righties and in on the hands of lefties. Its lack of depth makes it much tougher for lefties to hit.

    THE FUTURE: Thompson's assortment is unusual, and he marries that with above-average command. He has the tools to be a productive, durable reliever.

  26. 26. Blake Hunt | C
    Blake Hunt
    Born: Nov 21, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Santa Ana, Calif., 2017 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Nick Long.

    Hitting: 45. Power: 50. Running: 40. Fielding: 60. Arm: 55.

    TRACK RECORD: Hunt failed to make the Area Code Games as a rising high school senior and used it as motivation to get stronger. The added strength and power made him one of the fastest risers in the 2017 draft, and the Padres selected him 69th overall and signed him for an above-slot $1.6 million. Hunt stood out as one of the top defensive catchers in the low Class A Midwest League in his full-season debut in 2019. The Padres made him a late addition to their alternate training site in 2020. The Rays acquired him in the trade that sent Blake Snell to San Diego after the season.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Hunt's strength is his defense. Though tall for a catcher at nearly 6-foot-5, he moves well behind the plate, is a plus receiver and pitch framer and has the intelligence and work ethic to lead a pitching staff. He controls the run game with an above-average, accurate arm. Hunt has good timing at the plate and stays in the strike zone, but his upper-body, handsy swing limits his impact. He has the size to project 15-20 home runs once he adds more strength and learns to incorporate his lower half.

    THE FUTURE: Hunt projects to be a defensively-minded catcher who starts in his peak years. He'll see high Class A in 2021.

  27. 27. Pedro Martinez | SS
    Pedro Martinez
    Born: Jan 28, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 165
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2018.
    Signed By: Hector Ortega/Louis Eljaua/Julio Figueroa (Cubs).

    TRACK RECORD: The Rays acquired Martinez for the unrelated Jose Martinez in a late-August deal with the Cubs. Pedro Martinez impressed in his two years with the Cubs--he was considered one of the more advanced teenage hitters in the Arizona and Northwest leagues in 2019. The Rays brought him to instructional league in the fall.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Martinez has an advanced feel for hitting for his age. The switch-hitter has an understanding of the strike zone and has already demonstrated his bat-to-ball skills and good timing at the plate to go with average bat speed. His modest gap power should eventually turn into 10-12 home runs a year. He's an above-average runner. He has an above-average arm and could be an average shortstop and above-average second baseman. He'll probably bounce around multiple positions as a Rays prospect.

    THE FUTURE: Martinez spent the winter as one of the younger players in the Venezuelan League, a further reminder of how he's advanced for his age. He's ready for full-season ball in 2021.

  28. 28. Heriberto Hernandez | OF/1B
    Heriberto Hernandez
    Born: Dec 16, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Willy Espinal (Rangers).

    TRACK RECORD: Hernandez signed for $10,000 during the 2017 international signing period and quickly emerged as a potential bargain. He finished second in the Dominican Summer League in home runs (12) and OPS (1.099) in his pro debut in 2018 and kept it up by ranking tied for second in home runs (11) and third in OPS in the Rookie-level Arizona League (1.079) the following year. He was set to make his full-season debut in 2020, but instead he took a step back without the structure professional baseball provided. The Rays acquired him from the Rangers in December in the deal that sent Nate Lowe to Texas.

    SCOUTING REPORT: The Rangers brought Hernandez to their alternate training site during the summer and found a player who had lost strength and weight. He didn't have access to quality facilities in the Dominican Republic, where he spent the shutdown, and wasn't back to where he should have been until the end of instructs. When he's right, Hernandez has plus power on par with anyone in the Rays' system. He has trouble recognizing pitches and needs work on his hit tool, but the power comes naturally. Hernandez generates force through proper sequencing, quick hands, good extension and good bat speed. Hernandez signed as a catcher, but he's exclusively a first baseman and left fielder now.

    THE FUTURE: Hernandez will begin at low Class A in 2021. As long as he's hitting homers, he will keep rising.

  29. 29. John Doxakis | LHP
    John Doxakis
    Born: Aug 20, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Texas A&M, 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Pat Murphy.

    TRACK RECORD: Doxakis picked the perfect time for a breakout. A consistent performer at Texas A&M, he had been viewed as a soft-tosser. But he started throwing 91-93 mph more often as a junior, which turned him into a second-round pick in a pitching-poor 2019 draft class.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Even with improved velocity, Doxakis pitches with a below-average fastball, though his funky delivery makes it hard to square up. He sits around 90 mph, though his fastball has quality life and he can run it and cut it. His ability to dot corners with above-average command and plus control lets his fastball work, and it sets up his above-average mid-80s slider. It has two-plane break and he's shown he can use it against lefties and righties. His fringy changeup will need to get better as he climbs the ladder.

    THE FUTURE: Doxakis is yet another crafty Rays lefty whose fastball plays better than the radar gun readings would indicate. If he can continue to add further velocity, he has back-end starter potential.

  30. 30. Ian Seymour | LHP
    Ian Seymour
    Born: Dec 13, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Virginia Tech, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Landon Lassiter.

    TRACK RECORD: Seymour earned a spot in Virginia Tech's weekend rotation just a couple of weeks into his college career. He left as one of the best starters in program history. The coronavirus shutdown cost him his shot at topping Joe Saunders' school strikeout record. Saunders is the only Hokie to be drafted higher than Seymour in the 21st century.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Seymour was one of the most competitive pitchers in college baseball in 2020. He wouldn't rank among the top 60 players in the class based on pure stuff, but his makeup and toughness help him get the most out of his ability. Setting up from the extreme third base side of the rubber, Seymour's closed-off delivery means that righthanded hitters are staring at his back because he hides the ball well. Seymour's delivery has plenty of effort and a hard finish, but his arm is consistently on time. He throws strikes and has been durable. Seymour generally has sat 91-93 mph and sometimes struggles to maintain that velocity, but he touched 95 more often in 2020. His changeup is an above-average pitch already. His cutterish short slider gives him a fringe-average breaking ball.

    THE FUTURE: Despite Seymour's durability, scouts largely see him moving to the bullpen because of his delivery. His run-through-a-wall competitiveness should serve him well in any role.

View Players 11-30

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