Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Prospects – Updated
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE
1. Ryne Stanek, RHP, Age: 22
In the conversation for a potential Top 5 pick entering last season, Stanek fell to the end of the first round – 29th overall – after his strikeout rate dropped and his walk rate spiked. The former Razorback made his pro debut this year, breezing through nine starts with Bowling Green before heading to the Florida State League. A solid mid-rotation-type arm.
2. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Age: 21
Back from the long line of Tommy John recipients, Guerrieri has made three appearances in rookie ball this season, throwing 3.1 innings with four punch outs and a pair of free passes. Prior to the surgery, the lanky right-hander flashed above-average or better control, but never missed a whole lot of bats.
3. Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Age: 21
The #7 player on my College Draft Big Board, Gillaspie is off to a solid start in short season ball, hitting .274/.346/.434 including .342/.429/.479 with a pair of homeruns over his last 19 games. He’s ready for Bowling Green. For Gillaspie’s full pre-draft analysis, click HERE.
4. Patrick Leonard, 1B, Age: 21
As if acquiring Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi weren’t enough, Leonard, who struggled with Bowling Green last season, is hitting .288/.375/.489 with 12 homeruns while topping the Florida State League average production by 50%.
5. Enny Romero, LHP, Age: 23
A three-time participant of the Futures Game, Romero flashed a mid 90s fastball, a low 80s slider and a changeup during his brief debut with the big league club last season. He’s battled some control issues throughout his career, though this season’s walk rate, 4.10 BB/9, is a best. At this point, Romero could go either way – a mid-rotation arm or a dominant reliever.
6. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Age: 23
The lefty-swinging shortstop got off to a scorching start (.422/.536/.600) before a collision at second base knocked him out for the remainder of the 2013 season. And as hot as Lee was last season, this season he’s been the polar opposite: .205/.280/.264.
7. Ryan Brett, 2B, Age: 22
Brett’s quietly put together another solid season, hitting .290/.335/.448 with 20 doubles, five triples, seven homeruns and 23 stolen bases. His total production, per Weighted Runs Created Plus, has been 17% better than the league average.
8. Blake Snell, LHP, Age: 21
Snell’s walk rate spiked to Steve Blass levels last season: 6.64 BB/9. This, of course, came on the heels of two sub-3.8 BB/9 seasons. The 6-foot-4 left-hander proved that the major regression was just a speed bump in his development curve, walking 35 in 75 innings split between low Class A and high Class A.
9. Nick Ciuffo, C, Age: 19
Well, things aren’t looking so hot for the former 21st pick. Through his first 61 games, Ciuffo owns a .228/.278/.272 line. On the positive side, he’s thrown out 64% of would-be base stealers this season.
10. Riley Unroe, SS, Age: 18
The club’s second round pick last June, Unroe had a solid showing in the Gulf as a 17-year-old last season (.246.376/.341). He’s upped that mark in the Appalachian League this season, hitting .312/.398/.495 through his first 23 games.
Photo courtesy of Andi Stempniak via leadertelegram.com.