2012 Draft Report Cards: Tampa Bay Rays

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See also: Draft Report Card Index


The Rays were pleasantly surprised to find Shaffer available with the 25th overall pick. He set the tone for a Tampa Bay draft class that should be most notable for its position players.
Bonus spending: $4.4 million
Best Pure Hitter: OF Andrew Toles (3) has the bat speed and foot speed to hit for high averages. Multiple scouting directors thought 3B Richie Shaffer (1) was the best all-around college hitter available in the entire draft. Best Power Hitter: Shaffer not only has power to all fields, but he also has a patient approach that allows him to tap into it regularly. He's more refined than OF Bralin Jackson (5) and C Taylor Hawkins (12), high school picks with similar raw strength. Hawkins hit 74 homers in his prep career, one shy of Jeff Clement's national record. Fastest Runner: Toles and SS Spencer Edwards (2) have plus-plus speed, and OF Clayton Henning (11) is close behind them. Toles draws comparisons to Michael Bourn but needs to learn how to make the most of his quickness, as he didn't have a single bunt hit in his pro debut. Best Defensive Player: OF Joey Rickard's (9) outstanding instincts in center field helped his teams win championships at the College World Series and in the short-season New York-Penn League this summer. Toles' wheels give him more pure range in center, and he has a solid arm as well.


Best Fastball:
RHP Nick Sawyer (40) is just 5-foot-11 but generates consistent 94-96 mph fastballs that get on hitters quick. RHP Damion Carroll (6) maxes out at 95 mph but has a lot more projection remaining in his athletic 6-foot-4 frame. Best Secondary Pitch:Sawyer also owns a power 81-83 mph curveball with short, sharp break.


Best Pro Debut: Sawyer
was unhittable at three stops, making it to low Class A while posting a 0.28 ERA, 59 strikeouts in 32 innings and a .097 opponent average. Shaffer produced as expected, batting .308/.406/.487 in the NY-P. 3B Ben Kline (32) made the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League all-star team by hitting .347 with 10 steals. Best Athlete: Toles edges Edwards and Henning because he knows how to use his considerable tools better at this point. Most Intriguing Background: OF Marty Gantt (7) has an underdeveloped right hand that lacks fingertips, but he overcame that to win the Southern Conference player of the year award in the spring. Toles' father Alvin was an NFL first-round pick in 1985 as a linebacker. 2B Tommy Coyle's (16) brother Sean is a second-base prospect in the Red Sox system. Position players who bat righthanded and throw lefty are rare, but Tampa Bay signed three of them in Jackson, Gantt and Rickard. Closest To The Majors:Shaffer, who immediately became the biggest impact bat in the system when he signed. Best Late-Round pick:Sawyer. The Rays also are bullish on Henning, Hawkins, crafty RHP Dylan Floro (13) and Coyle. The One Who Got Away: Tampa Bay signed all but three of its selections. It pursued defensive-minded C Taylor Ward (31) but ran out of money, so he headed to Fresno State.