Tampa Bay Rays 60-Man Roster Prospect Analysis
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The Rays' player pool group is weighted heavily toward players with upper level minor league experience as well as some minor league veterans. Wander Franco, the top prospect in baseball, is on the 60-man roster as expected, and he's joined by Brendan McKay (Rays No. 2 prospect), Vidal Brujan (No. 3), Shane Baz (No. 4), Shane McClanahan (No. 6), Ronaldo Hernandez (No. 8) and Joe Ryan (No. 9). The Rays also brought shortstop Taylor Walls (No. 20) and infielder/outfielder Lucius Fox (No. 24), adding to the team's excellent middle infield depth.
While roster additions and subtractions can be made, the Rays largely left their best prospects at the lower levels off the roster. Not only is there no one from the Rays' 2020 draft, no one from last year's draft was invited either--shortstop Greg Jones, the Rays 2019 first-round pick, righthander JJ Goss, the club's supplemental first round pick in 2019, and righthander Seth Johnson, the team's 2019 second-round pick, were all left off. Righthander Brent Honeywell would have been a likely addition, but he is recovering from ulnar nerve decompression surgery. Infielder Xavier Edwards (No. 7 prospect) and outfielder Moises Gomez (No. 15) were the other most notable exclusions.
The Rays are a playoff contender and their initial roster reflects that—they have announced a full 60-man roster. "I think that’s a big part of (the roster construction)," Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Erik Neander said. "We expect to contend, we expect to compete." Development of young players took a back seat to players who can contribute to the 2020 MLB roster. Most of the prospects who are headed to Port Charlotte are players who can plausibly contribute if needed, including Franco.