Tampa Bay Rays Prospects: 2024 Midseason Top 30 Update


The Rays find themselves in a different spot this July.

In recent years, they’ve been a slam-dunk playoff team looking at how to shape their playoff roster. This year, they have treaded water at the MLB level for much of the season, leaving them in a spot where they could trade away veterans in an attempt to reshape the roster and clear spots for prospects who are MLB-ready.

The system has benefitted from excellent seasons by Carson Williams, Xavier Isaac, Chandler Simpson, Brayden Taylor and breakout prospects like Gary Gill Hill and Tre’ Morgan.

Baseball America subscribers can see the full updated Rays Top 30 here. Notable risers, fallers, new additions and injury updates are below.

Notable Risers 

Gary Gill Hill, RHP

Gill Hill added weight and strength during the offseason and returned to a low-three quarters arm slot after dropping his release point last year. The results have been spectacular. Gill Hill has some of the best pure stuff in the Rays’ organization, but his ability to throw multiple pitches for well-located strikes is equally notable.

Chandler Simpson, OF

Simpson’s one of the fastest runners in baseball, but that blazing speed sometimes makes it easy to overlook his hitting accomplishments. He’s a true throwback to the time when slap-hitting speedsters roamed infields and outfields. Simpson manages to find the holes in the gaps against teams that dare him to hit it over the outfielder’s heads. He’s an excellent contact hitter and has a knack for hitting the top of the baseball, slapping it between short and third base. Even if it doesn’t find a gap, his speed can turn it into an infield hit.

Tre’ Morgan, 1B

Morgan has been one of the system’s most productive regulars in the first half. He’s a weird profile as an athletic hit-first first baseman. He has played a significant amount of left field because he’s on the same team with Xavier Isaac, but Morgan’s best position remains first base, where he could be a Gold Glove fielder. He sprays the ball all around the field.

Trevor Martin, RHP 

A college reliever, Martin continues to show that the move to the rotation as a pro was a wise choice. He has efficiently worked deep into games, piling up several seven-inning starts recently, which earned him a promotion to Double-A Montgomery.

Notable Fallers

Mason Auer, OF

Time is running out for Auer as his exceptional 2022 season fades further into the background. His power has vanished against more experienced pitchers. He needs to get his hands extended to get to that power, and he struggles when pitchers work in on his hands. Defensively, the 23-year-old remains one of the organization’s best outfielders, but 650 Double-A plate appearances with a .203 batting average and a sub-.350 slugging percentage is hard to ignore. If hitting doesn’t work out, he has the arm to potentially pitch.

Yoniel Curet, RHP

Curet’s fastball is a plus pitch. He’s slowly improving his slider and changeup to go with the heater, but Curet’s timetable is a tough one. He was added to the 40-man roster last offseason, and he’s not yet ready for Double-A. If his development doesn’t speed up, at some point the pressure will build to move Curet to the bullpen.

Notable New Additions

7. Gary Gill Hill, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 55/High

Track Record: Much like fellow Rays find Taj Bradley, Gill Hill was a somewhat under-the-radar prospect in high school and one of the younger players in his draft class. The Rays loved his projectability and athleticism when they drafted him in the sixth round in 2022. His 2023 season was unimpressive, but he raised his arm slot, added strength and found 2-4 mph in velocity this year to dominate the Carolina League.

Scouting Report: Gill Hill wears No. 16 and then rears back and blows mid-90s fastballs by hitters, so older scouts can’t help but think of Dwight Gooden. That’s a little lofty, but few pitchers have done more to impress in Class A this year than Gill Hill. He’s athletic, throws multiple pitches for strikes and has shown the ability to develop and improve. Every aspect of his game seems to have taken a step forward in 2024. His mid-90s fastball touches 98 with solid run. His slider and curve can blend together at times, but both are truly nasty at their best. Unlike many young flame-throwers, Gill Hill has feel for a changeup that will flash above-average or better.

The Future: Gill Hill seemed destined to be a low-slot reliever a year ago. Now, he’s one of the best starting pitching prospects in the Rays’ organization. There’s a reasonable concern about getting too excited about a pitcher dominating Low-A, but when Gill Hill is on, he shows you almost everything you want to see from a pitching prospect. He’s still four steps from Tampa Bay, but if he can improve half as much in the next two years as he did in the past year, he’ll be one of the better pitching prospects in baseball.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Control: 50

16. Joe Rock, LHP

BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

Track Record: A 2021 competitive balance pick out of Ohio, Rock was acquired by the Rays in the trade that sent shortstop/outfielder Greg Jones to Colorado.

Scouting Report: Rock is effective because of solid stuff and above-average deception. He spots 91-93 mph four-seam and two-seam fastballs, setting up a plus slider. His fringe-average changeup will flash better than that, but he struggles to locate it.

The Future: Rock could develop into a back-of-the-rotation starter, but his fastball/slider combo could also work as a reliever if needed.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 45 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 60

22. Kenny Piper, C

BA Grade: 45/High

Track Record: The Rays do not develop homegrown catchers. They’re great at developing pitchers, and they can stack up their homegrown infielders against most teams. But whether it’s the curse of Buster Posey (who was left on the board when the Rays drafted Tim Beckham 1-1) or something else, Tampa Bay hasn’t had a homegrown catcher become a regular in the past two decades. Piper and fellow prospect Dominic Keegan are trying to end that drought.

Scouting Report: Piper was an 18th-rounder out of Columbia (Mo.) in 2021 as a 23-year-old. He then went out and hit .206 at Low-A Charleston in 2022. At that point, anyone projecting a potential big league career for Piper was either a family member or an extremely astute scout. But Piper has steadily improved, carving out a role as a solid defender with a strong arm. At the plate, he’s learned how to get to his average power more regularly.

The Future: Piper joins Keegan and Logan Driscoll as a trio of Rays’ MiLB catchers who could find a way to big-league roles. Keegan has the best bat and Driscoll is probably the best defender because of his pitch-framing skills, but Piper’s arguably the best all-round catcher with a decent bat, framing and a strong arm.

Scouting Grades: Hit: 30 | Power: 45 | Speed: 40 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 55

29. Trevor Harrison, RHP

BA Grade: 45/High

Track Record: A high school teammate of Phillies’ Top 100 prospect Aidan Miller, Harrison is the most impressive of a trio of intriguing pitchers on the Rays’ Florida Complex League roster, joining Jose Urbina and Jeremy Pilon.

Scouting Report: Harrison has been dominant at his best. He threw two consecutive no-walk, one-hit five-inning starts in May, striking out seven in each game. At his best, he can overpower FCL hitters with his 93-95 mph fastball and low-80s slider. He also has a more advanced changeup than usual for a recent prep draftee.

The Future: The Rays are often cautious with how quickly they push their prep pitching picks, but Harrison has dominated the FCL at times. He looks ready to reach Low-A Charleston later this season and has the foundations of a mid-rotation starter.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50

Significant Injuries

Junior Caminero, 3B

Caminero has seen some time at Triple-A. It’s hard to say whether he has played a game at anywhere close to 100% health. Even when he played, his quad strain hampered his mobility. He’s rehabbing and should return to action before too long.

Osleivis Basabe, 2B/SS

Basabe has missed two months of the season with a fractured wrist. He has been sent on a rehab assignment and should return to Triple-A Durham in the near future.

Marcus Johnson, RHP

Johnson had surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow at the start of the 2024 season. He has yet to pitch in a game this season, but he should get on the mound in the second half of the season.

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