School: University of Louisville; Class: Junior
Position: OF; B/T: L/L
Height: 5-11; Weight: 185
Previously Drafted: Seattle Mariners, 33rd round, 2013
Background: Let’s ignore the three-year run of consistent dominance for just a moment and consider the following: including his action in the Cape Cod Summer League last summer, Ray, a former 33rd round pick by the Mariners coming out of high school, has mashed 77 extra-base hits and swiped 83 bags in 174 games. For those counting at home, that’s nearly a stolen base and an extra-base hit about every two games.
And now for the awards and recognition:
- 2015 Baseball America Second Team All-America
- 2015 NCBWA Second Team All-America
- 2015 D1Baseball Third Team All-America
- 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team
- 2015 All-ACC First Team
- ACC Player of the Week (4/6)
- 2014 Louisville Regional All-Tournament Team
Through his first 49 games this season, Ray is slugging .325/.395/.593 – numbers, by the way, that more or less far in line with his .325/.395/.554 career line – with 15 doubles, one triple, and 13 homeruns while going a perfect 35-for-35 in the stolen base category.
Projection: Let’s continue to the praise, shall we? Between 2011 and 2015, here’s a list of Division I players that have reached the following milestones: 200 AB, .320 average, .390 OBP, .590 SLG, 10 homeruns, and 30 stolen bases: George Springer and Corey Ray.
Ray is an explosive, quick-twitch hitter: he’s incredibly efficient – and successful – on the base paths, packs a wallop at the plate – something that’s been on display for three seasons. He’s handled – or manhandled – elite competition as he slugged .355/.423/.548 with seven doubles, one triple, one homerun, and 10 stolen bases (in 11 attempts) with Team USA.
The only concern has been his tendency to swing-and-miss: he fanned in over 20% of his plate appearances last season, but has managed to cut that down to a more reasonable 13.2% in 2016.
Ray’s easily one of top players – if not the top – in the collegiate ranks.
Ceiling: 3.5-win player
Floor: 1.5- to 2.0-win player
Grade: First Round, Top 10