ST. PETERSBURG—Righthander Brent Honeywell’s dominating performance in the Arizona Fall League’s prospect showcase—he struck out five of the six batters he faced—gave another chance for those in the industry to take notice of the Rays’ promising prospect.
To Honeywell it was just another step.
“That’s all I want to do, and there’s nothing else,” said Honeywell, 21. “I want my dad to see and my mom to see and all my family to see me pitching against those guys who are the best in the world.”
Honeywell is on that path after a solid 2016 season in which, after a six-week disabled-list stint due to arm tenderness, he moved from high Class A Charlotte to Double-A Montgomery and helped the Biscuits into the Southern League playoffs.
For the season, Honeywell went 7-3, 2.34 with 117 strikeouts in 115.1 innings and was the Rays’ minor league pitcher of the year.
In addition to an upper-90s fastball, dominant changeup and a screwball that is much more legit weapon than novelty, Honeywell also has considerable confidence.
“I’ve had that from the start,” said Honeywell, a supplemental second-round pick in 2014 from Walters State (Tenn.) CC. “I take myself into anything knowing that, ‘Hey, I belong here. I should pitch here—I can pitch here.’ If you don’t . . . what are you going to sell yourself short for?’’
In facing Double-A hitters, Honeywell added to his arsenal by making more use of his curveball but otherwise took the same approach.
“I just tried to do what I did in Port Charlotte,” he said. “I don’t think I need to change anything or get out of my element and say, ‘You’re facing Double-A guys now.’ That doesn’t bother me.
“I’ll probably take it the same way if I get called up to Triple-A . . . I would take it all the same way.”
• The Rays named Erik Neander general manager as he and Chaim Bloom were promoted to senior vice presidents in a front-office restructuring. President of baseball operations Matthew Silverman will step back from some day to day duties but retains oversight.
• Minor league strength and conditioning coordinator Trung Cao, 50, was promoted to the big league staff after the contract of Kevin Barr was not renewed after 14 seasons.