Results tagged ‘ Rays minor league affiliates ’
Over half the season is in the books for the Rays’ minor league affiliates. Tampa Bay’s top prospects have had a decent season so far, as some have farmhands have exceeded expectations while others have failed to meet them.
Thanks to good performances by some lower-level pitching prospects, the farm’s stockage of arms has become even stronger in 2012. First-round draft picks from the 2011 Draft Taylor Guerrieri, Blake Snell and Jeff Ames have all pitched well in their brief amount of time in pros.
Offensively, the Rays’ organization has not had too much production this year. Most of the team’s intriguing bats have been in Single-A Bowling Green and Double-A Montgomery, which features Josh Sale, Hak-Ju Lee, Drew Vettleson and more.
Up in Triple-A Durham, two starting pitchers—Chris Archer and Alex Cobb—have made important contributions to the Rays this season filling in for injuries. There hasn’t really been any other notable big-league impacts from the minors this season, but there definitely could be more on the way.
Let’s take a look at the Rays’ organizational leaders, breakout prospects, excelling prospects, disappointments and a re-ranking of the top 10 overall prospects.
- Batting Average: Ryan Garko (.326, AA Montgomery)
- RBI: Henry Wrigley (61, AA Montgomery)
- OBP: Luke Maile (.432, Low-A Hudson Valley)
- HR: Henry Wrigley (16, AA Montgomery)
- Hits: Ty Morrison (100, AA Montgomery)
- Slugging Percentage: Henry Wrigley (.555, AA Montgomery)
Pitching Leaders (30 innings pitched minimum)
- ERA: Felipe Rivero (2.35, A Bowling Green)
- Strikeouts: Chris Archer (98, AAA Durham)
- Opposing Average: Enny Romero (.208, A+ Charlotte)
- Wins: Ryan Carpenter (A), Matt Torra (AAA), Jake Floethe (A) and Roberto Gomez (A) all with 8
Potential Breakout Prospects
- Ryan Brett – Brett has played very well in his first year in full-season ball, and is clearly on the road to a breakout year. The five-foot-nine second baseman is hitting .320 with 18 XBH and 27 RBI this season for Class A Bowling Green. He’s also been terrific on the bases, collecting 32 stolen bases through his 86 games.
- Taylor Guerrieri – Guerrieri has been the talk around the Rays’ lower-level minor league affiliates this season. Due to a minor injury, he’s started just three games this season with Hudson Valley (A-), but he’s only allowed one run in 13 innings pitched. Another positive sign is that he’s struck out 14 batters in those 13 innings.
- Drew Vettleson – Vettleson has been a huge offensive force with Bowling Green in his first year of full-season ball. He’s posted a .288/.350/438 with 43 RBI and eight homers. If Vettleson can keep up the good numbers, he’ll definitely move up the Rays’ top prospect ranks.
- Blake Snell – Selected in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft, Snell is on his way to a breakout season in 2012. In his five starts so far with Rookie League Princeton, Snell has posted a 3-0 record with a 0.40 ERA and a 10.3 K/9. It’s very early to make any conclusions, but the dominant numbers are hopefully a sign of something good to come.
- Jeff Ames – Snell’s draft mate, Jeff Ames, has also been excellent in his first five starts of the season. He’s 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA and a 8.6 K/9 thus far with Hudson Valley. Like Snell, these numbers are taken from a small sample size, but we hope Ames can stay on this track and breakout in 2012.
- Felipe Rivero – One of two Rays selected to the All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City, Rivero has made the most out of his promotion to full-season ball in 2012. In 16 starts for Bowling Green, he’s gone 6-7 with a 2.35 ERA and a 7.8 K/9. Rivero’s another young talented arm in the Rays’ system who’ll likely emerge as one of the organizations top pitching prospects soon.
- Alejandro Segovia – Segovia could become the Oscar Hernandez of 2012 in the Rays’ system. Like Hernandez, Segovia was an internationally signed catcher who was never heard of until starting to breakout in the minors. In his first year in full-season ball, he’s hit .246/.365/.538 with nine homers and 25 RBI. The power that he’s displayed is what has gotten people’s attention, and it could possibly lead him to a breakout year.
- Josh Sale – After a very disappointing 2011 season in Rookie League ball, Sale has bounced back with a solid start to his 2012 season with Bowling Green. He’s put up a .267/.389/.504 line with eight homers and 25 RBI in his 41 games with Bowling Green. As long as the power keeps coming for 21-year-old slugger, he’ll be moving up the ranks relatively quickly.
- Justin O’Conner – O’Conner’s 2012 story is similar to Sale’s. After two very disappointing seasons from 2010-2011, O’Conner has finally put up the numbers he’s capable of with short-season Hudson Valley this year. The Rays’ top catching prospect (entering the season) is hitting .292/.326/.506 with 10 RBI and two homers through 21 games.
- Todd Glaesmann – Yet another Bowling Green Hot Rod having himself a nice season, Glaesmann leads the team in RBI (49) and home runs (12). He has also put up a line of .283/.339/.476.
- Luke Maile – Picked in the eighth round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Rays, catcher Luke Maile has had a good start to his pro debut with Hudson Valley. He’s hitting .292 with 10 RBI and has posted an impressive OBP of .432.
- Jeff Malm – Another good bat from Bowling Green, Malm is enjoying his best season yet in the Rays’ organization. He’s hitting .284/.374/.493 with 10 homers and 42 RBI.
Other Excelling Prospects
- Derek Dietrich – Dietrich has enjoyed a solid season after being promoted to Class A+ Charlotte. He’s currently hitting .274/.342/.461 with nine longballs and 47 RBI.
- Mikie Mahtook – Mahtook is having a nice 2012 season with Charlotte as well, hitting .287/.350/.410 with 17 stolen bases and 35 RBI through 83 games. The power is the only thing the Rays would likely to see him improve on, as his home run total of four is a bit lower than expected.
- Henry Wrigley – Wrigley has been absolutely raking the ball in the minors this season. He’s played with both Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham this year, and has collected 61 RBI and 16 homers to go along with a strong .313/.364/.555 line.
- Ty Morrison – Morrison has slowly but surely progressed in the minors, and may be having his best season yet in 2012. He’s posted a .287/.357/.391 line with 38 RBI and 23 stolen bases for Charlotte and Montgomery this season.
- Ryan Garko – The former major leaguer never had a hard time hitting Double-A pitching with Montgomery ever since being signed by the Rays. Garko’s hitting .326/.425/.470 with six homers and 30 RBI, and surprisingly has not been called up to Durham yet.
- Omar Luna- Luna has hit well with Montgomery this year in his sixth season in the Rays’ organization. He’s hitting .311/.357/.375 with 46 RBI and 18 stolen bases.
- Leslie Anderson – Anderson has probably been Durham’s best hitter hitter all season long this year. He’s hit .308/.361/.449 with nine homers and 37 RBI so far this season, and has yet to earn his first promotion to the majors.
- Enny Romero – Romero joined Felipe Rivero as the only other Ray to be selected to the Futures Game. He’s spent the 2012 season in Charlotte, and has gone 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 14 starts for the Stone Crabs.
- Tim Beckham – Beckham has been a disappointment on and off the field ever since he was drafted by the Rays first overall in 2008. Many thought 2012 would finally be the year that Beckham would break into the big leagues, but he was hit with a big setback earlier this season. Beckham served a 50-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. On the field, he hasn’t been so great either. He’s currently hitting .233/.321/.336 with two homers and 15 RBI for Durham.
- Alex Torres – Torres entered the season unanimously considered one of the Rays’ top 10 prospects, and has yet to find his groove this season with Durham. He hasn’t had a hard time striking out batters, but he owns a 3-4 record with a high 6.84 ERA.
- Wilking Rodriguez – A shoulder injury ruined Rodriguez’s 2011 season, and he has never been the same since. He’s struggled so far in Charlotte, posting a 4-0 record with a 5.56 ERA.
Re-Ranking the Rays’ Top 10 Prospects
- 1) Taylor Guerrieri (RHP, A-)
- 2) Chris Archer (RHP, AAA)
- 3) Hak-Ju Lee (SS, AA)
- 4) Enny Romero (LHP, A+)
- 5) Drew Vettleson (OF, A)
- 6) Josh Sale (OF, A)
- 7) Alex Colome (RHP, AA)
- 8) Mikie Mahtook (OF, A+)
- 9) Felipe Rivero (LHP, A)
- 10) Ryan Brett (2B, A)
Back a couple of months ago, I evaluated the Rays’ top five prospects according to MLB.com’s current rankings. Last month, we checked in on their progress in the Rays’ system after the first month of the season, and it’s about time for the next monthly update. Here’s the current status of the Rays’ top five minor league prospects.
After a poor start to the 2012 season, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee seems to be on the right track with a good start to the month of June.
Lee, considered the Rays’ top position player prospect at the moment, has put up a .245/.313/.320 line with 16 RBI and stolen bases (caught seven times) for Double-A Montgomery this season. Obviously the offensive numbers don’t meet expectations, but he has started to turn up the heat in the past couple of weeks. In the last 10 games, Lee has hit .333 and blasted a pair of home runs (his only homers of the season).
Defensively, it’s also been a struggle for Lee this year. He has put up a .948 fielding percentage at short, which would be the worst in his career with the Rays’ organization if it doesn’t improve.
After a poor start to the season, Archer seemed to heading in the right direction with a much better month of May. He won the International League Pitcher of the Week award in the month’s second week, and ended the month 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA. But unfortunately for Archer and the Rays, the young right-hander is faltering again this month as his rather disappointing season continues.
Archer has posted a 3-8 record with an ERA of 5.04 for Triple-A Durham this season, and his command issues are a huge reason why. Although he strikes out plenty of batters, he also walks a bunch, averaging 5.2 walks per nine innings. It’s a ratio that’s going to need to improve if he wants to earn a big league promotion any time soon.
Beckham has been a disappointment for the Rays ever since he was drafted first overall in the 2008 MLB Draft, and the 2012 season has been no exception. After playing the first 13 games of the season with Triple-A Durham, the 22-year-old shortstop was suspended 50 games for drug use (marijuana).
The suspension seriously hurt his chances of a late-season promotion to the majors, which the Rays were looking forward to before the season started. He began the season hitting just .204/.290/.278 with four RBI and no homers.
Beckham could return to action later this month.
Drafted out of LSU in the first round of last year’s Draft, outfielder Mikie Mahtook has had a consistently solid first year in the Rays’ system.
He’s put up a .275/.327/.365 line and knocked in 25 runs after 59 games with Class A Advanced Charlotte. His power—which was displayed throughout his college career—has yet to blossom at the professional level, as Mahtook has gone yard just twice (14 extra-base hits on the year).
His plus speed, however, has been impressive this season. Mahtook has stolen 13 bases and has been caught just four times.
On the defensive side of things, Mahtook has split time between right field and center field. He has committed three errors and thrown out six runners thus far.
Another young exciting arm in the Rays’ organization, 19-year-old right-hander Taylor Guerrieri has yet to throw a pitch at the professional level. Guerreri—who was also drafted by the Rays in the first round last summer—began the season in extended spring training, and will join Rookie League Princeton to big his journey through the minors.
Guerrieri is scheduled to join Princeton as part of their rotation next week, when the Appalachian League’s season starts.
After a little over a month of baseball, the MLB—and MiLB season—is now in full swing. Back in February, I did an evaluation on the Rays’ top prospects on The Rays Rant, and I think it’s about time we check-in how they’re progressing thus far. As you can see from the list, Matt Moore is still technically considered a prospect. However, he’s already pitched nearly 50 innings as a Major Leaguer, so I decided not to include him in this article. Here’s the current status of the Rays’ top five minor league prospects:
It’s been a slow start to the season for 21-year-old shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, who earned a full-season promotion to Double-A Montgomery after a breakout 2011 season. He’s batting .229/.293/.314 as the Biscuits’ leadoff hitter, with 12 RBI and nine stolen bases (caught three times). He hasn’t gone yard yet, but he does have 10 extra basehits including three triples. Lee is not only struggling with the bat, as he hasn’t been sharp defensively either. He hasn’t been smooth at short so far this season, committing seven errors already (.955 fielding percentage). It’s clear that the talented youngster has not yet adjusted to the Double-A level, and seems to still be in the process of getting used to the speed of the game. Hopefully it’s nothing more than a slow start for Lee, as the Rays could really use a shortstop like him as soon as possible on the roster.
The Rays’ top right-handed pitching prospect is probably Chris Archer, who continues to provide the Rays with even more pitching depth down at the farm. After a poor April start to the year, it appears as if Archer is now on the right track. Archer currently owns a record of 3-4 with a 4.71 ERA this season with Triple-A Durham, but he’s had a great start to the month of May. In his three starts this month, Archer has gone 2-0 with an ERA of 2.00, going six innings deep in all three outings. He outdueled Yankees’ top prospect Manny Banuelos on Sunday, shining in the Bulls’ matinee matchup with the Yankees (Scranton/WB) throwing nine strikeouts without allowing an earned run. We know he has good swing-and-miss stuff, but the main concern with Archer is his command. The 23-year-old simply walks too many batters; he’s walked 28 already this season (averaging 3.5 base on balls per start). This is something Archer clearly needs to improve on if he hopes earning a promotion to the big leagues at any point this season.
After a good 2011 season, the former first-overall draft pick has disappointed the Rays once again in 2012. After just 13 games with Triple-A Durham, where he hit .204/.290/.278 four RBI, the 22-year-old shortstop was issued a 50-game suspension from MiLB for his second violation of the league’s drug policy (marijuana). This could not come at a much worse time for Beckham and the Rays, as 2012 was supposed to be a crucial year in his development as he continues to near is MLB debut. The Rays and their fans hope that Beckham won’t become the next Josh Hamilton.
Drafted in the first round of last year’s draft, Mahtook has had a solid start in his first year of full-season ball. He’s put up a .278/.340/.317 line with 13 RBI and nine stolen bases with Class A+ Charlotte in the Florida State League. The only thing that hasn’t come around yet this season is the power, as Mahtook remains homer-less with four extra base-hits after the first 34 games (126 at-bats). He definitely has some pop in his bat, and hopefully it’s only a matter of time before the power arrives.
Also drafted by the Rays in the first round last summer, Guerrieri gives Tampa’s organization another exciting young arm. The 19-year-old is starting the year in extended spring training, and is yet to throw his first pitch as a professional. He’s expected to soon start the season in the Rookie League, with the Princeton Rays. A complete scouting report on the hard-throwing right-hander can be found here.