Archer Turns In Strong Second Half For Rays





BEST PLAYER: Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee went into the 2012 season considered as the Rays' most highly regarded position-player prospect. Despite an oblique injury sidelining him in mid-August, the 21-year-old South Korean lived up to his billing, outshining others who had solid seasons such as Mikie Mahtook and Henry Wrigley.
Lee hit .261/.336/.360 with 37 steals for Double-A Montgomery in his first full season above Class A, but the most impressive numbers were 46—the length (in games) of his streak for reaching base—and 21, the length of his longest hitting streak. With his smooth glove and quick hands and feet, Lee should continue his ascent. Next up: A stint in the Arizona Fall League.

BEST PITCHER: Several pitchers are rising through the organization, including righthanders Taylor Guerrieri at short-season Hudson Valley and Alex Colome at Triple-A Durham. But the pitcher who excelled at the highest level deserves the most credit, and that would be righthander Chris Archer. On either side of an impressive two-start cameo in the majors, the 23-year-old had an impressive season at Triple-A, posting a 3.66 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning. More telling, he got better as the season went on, posting a 1.79 ERA over the second half.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Between low Class A Bowling Green and high Class A Charlotte, 21-year-old outfielder Todd Glaesmann hit an organization-leading 21 homers to go along with a .285/.336/.493 batting line. A third-round pick in 2009, Glaesmann had been noted for his arm, but hadn't done much with the bat, hitting .232 with eight homers while spending most of his first three pro seasons in Rookie ball.

COOL RAYS

• The Rays will send 2012 first-round third baseman Richie Shaffer to the Arizona Fall League to be on the taxi squad. They had a positive experience with Mahtook, last year's first-round pick out of college who got experience in AFL.

• Outfielder Josh Sale was suspended 50 games after testing positive for methamphetamine and an amphetamine, becoming the fourth player from the Bowling Green roster to be penalized in a one-week span in August. The 21-year-old Sale said in a statement issued through his agent that he didn't take any banned substances and that his suspension was "unwarranted." The other players to test positive and be suspended were second baseman Ryan Brett, righthander Charlie Cononie and lefthander Justin Woodall.