- Full name John Patrick Raynor
- Born 01/04/1984 in Memphis, TN
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School UNC Wilmington
- Debut 04/08/2010
Drafted in the 9th round (275th overall) by the Miami Marlins in 2006 (signed for $17,500).
View Draft ReportOne of the more interesting senior signs could be John Raynor, who has attracted the interest of scouts with his athleticism and gritty approach to the game. Drafted last year by the Orioles in the 12th round, he returned to UNC Wilmington for his senior season and likely improved his stock while nearly finishing work on his biology degree. A tough out at the college level, Raynor has plus speed, clocking 6.3 seconds in the 60 last year in the Coastal Plain League all-star game, and projects as a center fielder with good range. His routes on fly balls will need work, but he is a good baserunner who had swiped 40 bases in 44 attempts this spring. His arm strength rates above-average and is more than adequate for the middle garden. Raynor has a good, short stroke and his bat stays in the strike zone a long time, which allows him to consistently put the ball in play and use his legs to get on base. His power is a question mark, but Raynor is an excellent bunter with good overall strength and has shown the ability to make adjustments against all levels of competition.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Pirates made Raynor the second overall pick in the major league Rule 5 draft in December. They'll have to keep him on their big league roster throughout 2010, or else place him on waivers and offer him back to the Marlins for half his $50,000 draft price. He'll compete for a reserve outfield job in spring training. Signed for $17,500 as a college senior in 2006, Raynor won the South Atlantic League MVP award in his first full season. He had no trouble skipping a level to Double-A in 2008, but more experienced pitchers got him out time after time with soft stuff away in Triple-A last year. He couldn't stop from pulling off pitches, and his plate discipline and production declined noticeably. It's possible he developed some bad habits after suffering a hairline fracture in his left hand while at the Arizona Fall League in 2008. Raynor's best tool is his speed, as he regularly runs to first base in 4.1 seconds from the right side of the plate, and he needs to get on base more often to take advantage of his basestealing prowess. He has succeeded in 83 percent of his steal attempts as a pro, though his 19 swipes last year were his lowest total in four seasons. Raynor even struggled somewhat defensively, though he improved as the year went on. His speed gives him the range to play center, but his below-average arm probably will keep him in left.
After the Marlins named him their minor league player of the year and the low Class A South Atlantic League tabbed him as its MVP in 2007, Raynor skipped a level and had no trouble adapting to Double-A. Florida stole him for $17,500 as a college senior in the 12th round in 2006, a year after he had turned down the Orioles as a 12th-rounder. A career .316 hitter in pro ball, Raynor has an inside-out swing that produces good gap power. His on-base ability and his speed make him a leadoff candidate, though ideally he'd make more consistent contact if he batted atop a lineup. The fastest runner in the system, Raynor regularly gets from the right side of the plate to first base in 4.1 seconds. Once on base, he puts tremendous pressure on opponents, having stolen 123 bases (at an 85 percent success rate) in 296 pro games. While he's quick enough to play center field, he has spent more time in left field because his arm is below-average. Raynor hit for the cycle in his third game in the Arizona Fall League this offseason, but 10 days later he was shut down for the year after an errant pitch left him with a hairline fracture in his left hand. If he's healthy, he could challenge for a big league starting job by the end of 2009.
The Marlins named Raynor their 2007 minor league player of the year after his boffo season in low Class A. He also earned South Atlantic League MVP honors after topping the circuit in runs (110) and finishing second in batting (.333) and steals (54). Florida signed him in 2006 for the bargain price of $17,500 as a college senior in the ninth round, three rounds earlier than he went to the Orioles the year before. Timed at 6.3 seconds in the 60-yard dash, Raynor is a tremendous weapon on the bases. Going back to college, he has been caught just 14 times in his past 129 steal attempts, an 89 percent success rate. Raynor became much more selective at the plate in his first full pro season, showing true leadoff qualities. He's a good bunter, too. He has some gap power but mostly employs a smooth inside-out swing to rip line drives to right and right-center. His arm is below-average and he moved over to left in Greensboro to make room for fellow speedster Greg Burns, but the Marlins haven't shut the door on Raynor as a potential center fielder. Because he has had so much success and also will be 24 to open the 2008 season, he could skip a level and jump to Double-A.
A 12th-round pick of the Orioles as a junior in the 2005 draft, Raynor declined to sign and returned to UNC Wilmington to complete his biology degree. He boosted his stock a bit on the field, batting .370 with 12 home runs and 42 steals, and the Marlins took him in the ninth round, four rounds after another UNC Wilmington product, catcher Chris Hatcher. Raynor received a bonus of just $17,500 as a senior with no bargaining leverage. Already among the fastest players in the system, he beat the blazing Greg Burns in a 60-yard match race at minicamp and has been timed at 6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash. But he's no speedy slap hitter. With a muscular physique some compare to that of Marlins left fielder Josh Willingham, Raynor shows gap power as well. He worked with hitting coordinator John Mallee to add a leg kick at the plate, and the change helped him stop jumping at pitches. He projects to hit 10-15 homers a year. He shows strong makeup, a great work ethic and the ability to use his speed on the basepaths. He was caught stealing just twice in 23 attempts in his debut after going 42 for 46 as a senior. His arm is below-average, but for now it shouldn't keep him from playing center field, where his intelligence and instincts combine with his speed to make him a plus defender. After performing well at short-season Jamestown in the pro debut, Raynor could jump to high Class A to open 2007.
Minor League Top Prospects
Raynor was a pest atop Greensboro's lineup, leading the league in runs (110) while placing second in batting average (.333) and stolen bases (54 in 62 attempts) and third in on-base percentage (.429). He also was named the loop's Most Valuable Player. After swinging and missing at a lot of pitches in his 2006 pro debut, Raynor developed a better feel for the strike zone and worked deeper counts this season. His improved discipline, created in part by adding a small leg kick to his swing, allowed him to hit his pitch more often and drive balls into the gaps with consistency. One of the fastest players in the Florida organization, Raynor who uses his speed and instincts to play the outfield with aplomb. Greensboro used him in left field because it had another athletic speedster, Greg Burns in center, but Raynor could probably play there as well. He has below-average arm strength yet recorded 15 outfield assists. "He knows how to pick his spots when he's running the bases," Kelly said. "He plays good defense and swings the bat very well. He's a very tough out, probably the toughest out in the league."
Best Tools List
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Miami Marlins in 2009
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Southern League in 2008
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Miami Marlins in 2008
- Rated Most Exciting Player in the South Atlantic League in 2007
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the South Atlantic League in 2007
- Rated Best Baserunner in the South Atlantic League in 2007