Running with the Bulls: A Rays farm report
In just the last month, 4 Ray top-prospects have been promoted in the Rays farm system. 3 of them participated the 2011 MLB Futures Game in Phoenix. Two of the four prospects were acquired in the Matt Garza trade. Let’s start with phenom southpaw Matt Moore.
Moore has some great stuff, including a blazing fastball that lights up the radar gun in the high-90’s. He’s started 7 games since being called up to Durham, and all he’s done is rack up 63 strikeouts with a 3-0 record and a 0.89 ERA. Many prospect watchers around the country are saying that Moore and Stephen Strasburg are the two best prospects in the minors right now. It’s great when your team has a young pitcher that is often compared to Stephen Strasburg. Matt Moore is definitely something special.
Next is Chris Archer, who was just called up to Durham and made his first Triple-A appearance yesterday.
He recorded a win with six inning and only a run allowed, and also stuck-out six. Chris Archer is another pitcher with a very bright future in the big leagues. He was the best prospect acquired in the Garza trade, where the Rays also acquired Hak Ju Lee, Sam Fuld, Brandon Guyer, and Robinson Chirinos.
That trade couldn’t of been much more perfect than for the Rays. Garza has had a bad year this year, and the Rays acquired 5 MLB quality players including two top-prospects. Friedman really knew what he was doing when he made that trade, but no surprise there.
So how are Lee, Guyer, and Chirinos doing in the minors this year? Hak Ju Lee was just recently promoted from Single-A Charlotte, to Double-A Montgomery. Lee has played 17 games for the Biscuts, and has batted just .225 so far, although he has shown some speed with an impressive four triples. Brandon Guyer has swung a hot bat all season long, while continuing to be a solid outfielder. The Rays know what he can do at the Major League level, after he blasted a 3-run homer in his first MLB AB at Camden Yards early in the season. Guyer is batting an impressive .313 this season, sharing that average with teammate and All-Star Russ Canzler. Canzler, a third baseman, has knocked in 78 runs and 18 home runs. Chances are he’s going to get some big league playing time next year, after such a phenomenal 2011. Chirinos has struggled a bit since being called up to the big leagues in replacement of the injured John Jaso. He’s batting .262 now for the Bulls, and he’s been working hard to improve his footwork behind the plate. Catcher is really the only position the Rays lack solid defense, and Chirinos could be the future at that position.
The last prospect to talk about is Tim Beckham, who was recently called up to Durham.
Beckham is a speedy shortstop, and has been making a lot of progress to improve defensively at that position. Beckham started out very hot with Durham, but has now started to cool off and is batting .268. He has hit 2 triples and 4 homers in only 16 games though, which is pretty good. Beckham was another Ray in the Futures Game in July. He contributed to the US’s with a base hit and run; where he showed off his great speed. The future is very bright for the Rays, there’s no doubt about that!