Draft Report Cards: Tampa Bay Rays
BEST PURE HITTER
|The Rays didn't set out to sign position players with five of their six picks in the first three rounds, but doing so restored some balance to a pitching-heavy farm system. If Hahn regains his stuff, he's great value for a sixth-rounder.
Bonus Spending: $7.2 million
: OFs Josh Sale (1) and Drew Vettleson (1s), both Washington high school products, were two of the best prep hitters in the draft. » BEST POWER HITTER
: Sale and C Justin O'Conner (1) have well above-average power, and O'Conner shares the Indiana high school record with 51 career homers. The Rays didn't stop there. 1B Travis Flores (11) won the 2010 Power Showcase, an international home run derby for high schoolers, with his longest blast traveling 471 feet. Vettleson and SS Derek Dietrich (2) also have good pop. » FASTEST RUNNER
: OF Craige Lyerly's (19) plus-plus speed helped him reach base safely in his last 88 games at NCAA Division II Catawba (N.C.). » BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER
: C Jake DePew (9) has advanced receiving skills and an average arm. O'Conner is new to catching but has a well above-average arm that delivers 1.8-second pop times. He also threw 93-95 mph as a high school pitcher.
: RHP Jake Thompson (2) works at 92-94 mph and touched 97 during the summer and in instructional league. RHP Jesse Hahn (6) had similar velocity before having Tommy John surgery in July. RHP Ian Kendall (5) is a high schooler with little projection remaining, but he throws 91-95 mph. » BEST SECONDARY PITCH
: Thompson has taken off since picking up a mid-80s slider during the spring at Long Beach State, and he also has a good changeup. Hahn had a power curve before he got hurt.
ODDS AND ENDS
BEST PRO DEBUT
: Thompson went 4-1, 1.06 and ranked as the top pitching prospect in the short-season New York-Penn League. Scrappy 2B Robby Price hit .294, stole 13 bases and led the NY-P with a .437 on-base percentage. RHP Austin Hubbard (14) commanded his slider well enough to post a 0.39 ERA and 12 saves in the NY-P. » BEST ATHLETE
: LHP Justin Woodall (26) won a national football championship as a starting safety at Alabama. He signed with the Rays after hitting 94 mph during a tryout—despite not having pitched in four years. OFs Deshun Dixon (10) and Kevin Kiermaier (31) both have plus speed, solid arms and gap power. » MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND
: While Vettleson's bat is his ticket, he has received more notoriety for his switch-pitching ability. Dietrich is the grandson of former big leaguer Steve Demeter. LHP Jimmy Patterson (18) is the grandson of former Pacific Coast League president Bill Cutler. » CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS
: Thompson. » BEST LATE-ROUND PICK
: Flores or Kiermaier. » THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY
: The Rays made significant offers to RHP Austin Wood (4), a hard thrower who starred in the Cape Cod League, and OF Michael Lorenzen (7), who has five-tool potential. But Wood transferred from St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC to Southern California, and Lorenzen opted to attend Cal State Fullerton.