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Player Reports

  1. 1. Shane Baz | RHP
    Shane Baz
    Born: Jun 17, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Tomball, Texas, 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: Wayne Mathis (Pirates).
    Minors: 0-0 | 1.38 ERA | 20 SO | 4 BB | 13 IP

    Track Record: If the Pirates had traded Baz for Chris Archer as a one-for-one deal, the Rays would have reason to be pleased. The fact that Baz was the player to be named in a trade that also included Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows makes it one of the most lopsided deals of the 21st century. When younger, Baz struggled to throw strikes, was prone to over-throwing and had a pronounced head whack. His delivery has calmed down, as much from improved core strength as any significant tweaks to his delivery. He’s allayed concerns that he would be too wild to start by developing into a consistent strike-thrower. After throwing strikes on 59% of his pitches in 2018, Baz upped that figure to 68% in 2021. His 8.7 strikeouts for every walk led all minor league pitchers with 70 or more innings. After pitching for Team USA in the Olympics, Baz made his MLB debut on Sept. 20. After three regular-season starts, he stepped right into the Rays’ playoff rotation.

    Scouting Report: As a Pirates prospect, Baz threw two-seam fastballs and curveballs, which didn’t really fit his skillset. Now he blows hitters away with four-seam fastballs and sliders. Baz had both those pitches in high school—he touched 98 at his best in high school and flashed a plus slider--but the Rays made a point of getting him to re-emphasize them. Baz has one of the best fastballs in baseball. He can touch 100 mph and carries 96-97 mph throughout his starts. The life and movement on his four-seam fastball is just as exceptional as its velocity. His 11.2 inches of vertical movement is among the most of any MLB starting pitcher. The combination of velocity and life means he can consistently attack hitters in the strike zone, knowing that hitters have trouble squaring him up, especially in the upper-third of the strike zone. Baz’s mid-80s plus slider is a relatively tight pitch with lots of gyro spin. It has solid depth but not a lot of tilt. His low-80s fringe-average curveball can be effective, but he almost always throws it as an early-count surprise to steal a strike against hitters not expecting it. Baz’s high-80s changeup remains the most important item on his to-do list. It lacks the deception or movement profile at this time to be a true weapon. If he keeps it away from lefties, it can produce foul balls and grounders, but if he misses his spot, it can be pounded.

    The Future: The Rays consistently are slow to promote their prospects, but after Baz earned a spot in the club’s postseason rotation, he should be a key part of Tampa Bay’s rotation in 2022 and beyond. He has front-of-the-rotation potential and the highest upside of any Rays starting pitching prospect in years thanks to his rare combination of premium stuff and plus control.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 80. Slider: 60. Curveball: 45. Changeup: 50. Control: 60.

  2. 2. Curtis Mead | 3B/1B
    Curtis Mead
    Born: Oct 26, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 171
    Signed By: Howard Norsetter/Roberto Aquino/Derrick Chung (Phillies).
    Minors: .293/.387/.534 | 13 HR | 7 SB | 266 AB

    Track Record: Growing up in Australia, Mead seemed destined to be an Australian rules football player. Mead’s father Tim had played in the Australian Baseball League, but according to Australia’s ABC News, Tim believed Curtis had a more promising football career ahead of him. The younger Mead decided to focus on baseball and quickly earned a spot on the Australian junior national team. He signed with the Phillies, but was quickly traded to the Rays for lefthander Cristopher Sanchez after the 2019 season. In 2021, Mead made a brief appearance in Triple-A while leading the minors with 38 doubles.

    Scouting Report: Mead has the best combination of power, bat-to-ball skills and hitting ability among Rays minor leaguers. He manages to combine some of the best average exit velocities in the Rays system (90 mph average) with the kind of contact-heavy approach (15.5% strikeout percentage) the organization covets. His level swing produces more line drives than lofted home runs, but he regularly drills balls into the gaps. Mead hasn’t found a full-time defensive home. He has fringe-average range at third base and playable hands, but his throwing action is long and unorthodox and he can’t rifle a throw without getting his feet set. Most likely he will slide to first base more regularly as he moves up, but he’s athletic enough to be a plausible left fielder. He’s a below-average runner who likely will further slow down.

    The Future: Mead will only be 21 for the entirety of the 2022 season that should see him start the year at Double-A Montgomery. He could be ready for Tampa Bay by the end of 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 60. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 40.

  3. 3. Taj Bradley | RHP
    Taj Bradley
    Born: Mar 20, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Stone Mountain, Ga., 2018 (5th round).
    Signed By: Milt Hill.
    Minors: 4-3 | 2.19 ERA | 104 SO | 21 BB | 87 IP

    Track Record: When the Rays drafted Bradley in 2018, they knew they were getting an extremely young pitcher (he had just turned 17) with a brief track record on the mound, but one whose best was yet to come. The former outfielder has managed to exceed those lofty expectations and turn into one of the steals of the 2018 draft. In 2021, Bradley led the minors in ERA (1.83) and ranked in the top 10 in opponent’s batting average (.180) and WHIP (0.93).

    Scouting Report: Bradley keeps getting stronger while retaining the athleticism that was so enticing coming out of high school. His fastball has gotten firmer and firmer. He now sits in the mid-90s and touches 96-97. In addition to adding 3-5 mph of velocity, Bradley has begun to master a slider that better pairs with his fastball than his curveball did. He still has the curve in his arsenal, but the slider now regularly flashes plus and he’s shown he can throw it for strikes in the strike zone and get hitters to chase it out of the zone. His changeup has further to go, but it will flash average at its best. Bradley is an advanced strike-thrower. He has a good tempo to his delivery, an easy arm action and he’s starting to show the ability to self-diagnose when he loses his release point.

    The Future: The Rays have as much success as anyone in developing starting pitchers. Bradley appears to be the next in the long line. He should spend much of 2022 at Double-A. Considering the Rays’ tendency to move pitchers slowly, a late 2023 arrival to St. Pete seems most likely.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 60. Curveball: 40. Changeup: 50. Control: 55.

  4. 4. Josh Lowe | OF
    Josh Lowe
    Born: Feb 2, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Marietta, Ga., 2016 (1st round).
    Signed By: Milt Hill.
    Minors: .277/.361/.500 | 6 HR | 6 SB | 148 AB

    Track Record: The 13th pick in the 2016 draft, Josh’s older brother Nate was also picked by the Rays in that year’s 13th round. Nate made it to the majors in 2019, but Josh should have a longer Rays career, as Nate was quickly traded to the Rangers. Josh made his own MLB debut in 2021 after a breakout season in Triple-A.

    Scouting Report: Lowe was one of the most improved hitters in the organization in 2021. He figured out how to shorten his swing and better use the whole field when he fell behind in counts without hindering his ability to drive the ball when he’s ahead of the pitcher. Lowe now does a better job of yanking the ball when pitchers try to bust him inside. Once a weakness, Lowe hit .434/.418/.803 on pitchers on the inner third of the strike zone at Triple-A. He still trades some batting average for power, but he has managed to find a balance and now projects as a fringe-average hitter with plus power. Every other aspect of his game is plus or better. He plays a plus center field with long gliding strides. He also has a plus arm and has turned into a threat on the basepaths. He stole 26 bases in 26 tries, leading the minors in steal success rate.

    The Future: Lowe’s step forward in 2021 should have him poised to play a role in St. Petersburg in 2022. His opportunities will largely depend on whether all of the club’s many big league outfielders are brought back, but his power, speed and defense give him the versatility to play any outfield position, although he fits best in center.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 60. Speed: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  5. 5. Carson Williams | SS
    Carson Williams
    Born: Jun 25, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Jaime Jones.
    Minors: .256/.351/.494 | 14 HR | 24 SB | 344 AB

    Track Record: For much of Williams’ high school career, he was seen as a promising pitcher who also played shortstop. But Williams began to make people pay attention to his bat when he hit over .400 at the World Wood Bat Association World Championships in Jupiter, Fla., before his senior season. He then was one of the best performers in California all spring. He hit .506 as a high school senior against top-notch competition. He had a solid Florida Complex League debut, but in very limited at-bats because of the Rays’ very crowded FCL roster.

    Scouting Report: Williams has developed into a well-rounded shortstop. There are some scouts skeptical about how adjustable his hands are in his swing, but he has a simple setup, load and swing and he’s shown an advanced understanding of how to work counts. He’s a hitter first, but he also has the strength and pop in his bat to hit 18-20 home runs down the road. He’s shown he is as comfortable driving the ball to the right center power alley as he is yanking it down the line. Defensively, Williams has above-average hands, solid body control and a plus arm—he was 92-95 mph as a pitcher. He sometimes relies on his arm a little too much, and his footwork and first step quickness will need to be a point of emphasis.

    The Future: The Rays have multiple shortstops ready to head to Low-A Charleston, led by Williams and Willy Vasquez. Williams has the steady heartbeat, solid internal clock and plus arm to stick at short long term, and his bat should handle a slide to third if needed.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  6. 6. Xavier Edwards | 2B
    Xavier Edwards
    Born: Aug 9, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Coconut Creek, Fla., 2018 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Brian Cruz (Padres).
    Minors: .262/.327/.376 | 4 HR | 2 SB | 202 AB

    Track Record: The Rays acquired Edwards along with Hunter Renfroe in the 2019 trade that sent Tommy Pham and Jake Cronenworth to San Diego. Unless Edwards blossoms, it may end up as one of the rare trades the Rays would like to take back. Edwards has hit over .300 at every step of his MiLB career. He officially has one career home run, but he did add a wall-scraping grand slam for Montgomery in the Double-A South postseason.

    Scouting Report: Edwards is as comfortable with two strikes as most hitters are when they are ahead in the count because he knows he can connect with almost anything. But Edwards also scares no pitcher because he subsists on a diet of singles—just 17% of his career hits have gone for extra bases. He will need to drive the ball more consistently to have a successful MLB career. Edwards didn’t play a game at shortstop in 2021 and now projects as purely a second baseman. He’s an above-average defender there thanks to quick hands and feet. Once a top-of-the-scale runner, Edwards now more regularly turns in plus times although he will turn in a plus-plus time at his best. Edwards wasn’t nearly the threat on the bases he’d shown in the past, but an oblique injury may have played a role in that.

    The Future: Edwards’ exceptional contact ability, athleticism and speed gives him a role in the majors even if he doesn’t get stronger. But the difference between him being a useful role player and a David Fletcher/Nick Madrigal-type regular will depend on him adding at least a little power to his contact-oriented approach.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 70. Power: 20. Speed: 70. Fielding: 55. Arm: 45.

  7. 7. Jonathan Aranda | 2B/1B
    Jonathan Aranda
    Born: May 23, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 173
    Signed By: Eddie Diaz.
    Minors: .314/.391/.521 | 15 HR | 4 SB | 334 AB

    Track Record: The Rays signed Aranda out of Mexico in 2015 and then patiently watched him develop as a hitter. He didn’t make it to full-season ball until his fourth pro season and hadn’t played above Class A until this season. He had a breakout season in 2021, leading the Double-A South in batting average, on-base and slugging percentage.

    Scouting Report: If hitting ability is the most important tool, Aranda has checked off the biggest box a prospect can check. Scouts are adamant that he can be a useful big league hitter. He works counts, understands what pitchers are trying to do and drives the ball with a short stroke and a modest timing step/leg lift. His .330 average was eighth-best in the minors. Aranda should be a plus hitter with average power. He made a clear attempt to hit the ball harder, and managed to do so without losing his ability to make contact. Aranda’s issue is finding a defensive home. Aranda is below-average defensively wherever he plays. He’s best at first base, where his lack of range is less noticeable. He has well below-average range at second or third. He also played left field in winter ball in Mexico.

    The Future: The Rays added Aranda to the 40-man roster, knowing he was a big risk to be picked in the Rule 5 draft. Aranda’s readiness for Tampa Bay depends on his defensive improvement.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 70. Power: 50. Run: 40. Field: 40. Arm: 50.

  8. 8. Cole Wilcox | RHP
    Cole Wilcox
    Born: Jul 14, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 232
    Drafted/Signed: Georgia, 2020 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Tyler Stubblefield. (Padres)

    Track Record: Wilcox twice slid in the draft because of his asking price, but the Padres paid him a third-round record $3.3 million (which topped the bonus of 11 first-rounders in that year’s class). Wilcox never threw an official pitch for the Padres before being traded to the Rays in the deal that sent Blake Snell to San Diego. Wilcox was dominant for half a season at Low-A Charleston, but he injured his elbow in a June 27 start. After rehabbing the injury for two months, he had Tommy John surgery in September.

    Scouting Report: Wilcox has always had some length in his arm action and he will fly open early in his delivery sporadically. For all the concerns about his control, he’s walked less than one batter per nine innings over the abbreviated final season of his college career and his first year in pro ball combined. Wilcox pounds the zone with a mid-90s potentially plus fastball that has sink and run. He has touched 98-99 mph at his best. The heater sets up a plus high-80s slider that he commands even better than his fastball. It is a power pitch with tilt and modest depth when he doesn’t get on the side of it. His 84-88 mph fringe-average changeup has some sink but isn’t as effective or consistent.

    The Future: Wilcox is expected to miss the entirety of the 2022 season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He should be full speed for spring training in 2023. If he makes a full recovery, he gives the Rays yet another very promising future starter with a fallback option of being a power reliever.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 60. Changeup: 45. Control: 50.

  9. 9. Seth Johnson | RHP
    Seth Johnson
    Born: Sep 19, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Campbell, 2019 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Joe Hastings.
    Minors: 1-1 | 3.00 ERA | 41 SO | 11 BB | 27 IP

    Track Record: The Rays have long demonstrated that they believe most young pitchers are best on a slow development path. That’s been quite apparent with Johnson. The shortstop turned righthander was sent to Low-A Charleston. He was erratic at first, but after posting a 4.62 ERA in his first 12 outings, Johnson posted a 0.84 ERA over his final 11 starts.

    Scouting Report: Johnson’s history as a shortstop is still apparent at times when it comes to pitch sequencing, but he’s made steady improvement. When he’s locked in, he has the look of an athletic mid-rotation starter. Johnson’s 84-87 mph power slider earns 70 grades at its best. It has tight, late break. Johnson also can attack hitters with a 94-98 mph four-seam plus fastball. It pairs well with his slider, but it lacks elite movement. Johnson does consistently throw it for strikes. He doesn’t command his secondaries as well as his fastball, but he has average control overall. His 71-75 mph curveball is a fringy get-over pitch, and his below-average changeup has a long way to go.

    The Future: Johnson is Rule 5 eligible if not added to the 40-man after the 2022 season. While he’ll start at High-A Bowling Green, ideally he needs to move quickly to speed up his development.

    Scouting Grades Fastball: 55. Slider: 70. Curveball: 45. Changeup: 40. Control: 50.

  10. 10. Kyle Manzardo | 1B
    Kyle Manzardo
    Born: Jul 18, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 205
    Minors: .329/.436/.636 | 17 HR | 0 SB | 225 AB

    Midseason Update: Manzardo has to hit, because there’s little other value he provides on the diamond. He’s a below-average defender at first and he’s a well below-average runner. The good news is Manzardo is quite the hitter. In the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season, he hit .435/.500/.694. In the full 2021 season, he hit .365/.437/.640 and that combination of high on-base percentage, high batting average and solid power has carried over to his brief pro career. Manzardo has been one of the best hitters in the South Atlantic League, having skipped over Low-A. He is hit-over-power with a plus hit tool and average power, but the 21-year-old may grow into more power as he ages, and his ability to make consistent hard contact is noteworthy.

    Scouting Grades Hit: 65. Power: 50. Run: 30. Field: 40. Arm: 45.

  11. 11. Carlos Colmenarez | SS
    Carlos Colmenarez
    Born: Nov 15, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Danny Santana.
    Minors: .257/.382/.396 | 1 HR | 11 SB | 101 AB

    Track Record: Colmenarez was viewed as one of the best players in the 2020-2021 international class. Like the rest of his class, he had to wait until January to sign, meaning he signed as a 17-year-old. Colmenarez’s pro debut was somewhat derailed by a hand injury. He missed the first month of the Dominican Summer League season with a fractured hamate, and his power was somewhat lacking upon his return.

    Scouting Report: If everything comes together, Colmenarez could be the Rays’ most well-rounded shortstop prospect since Wander Franco. But he had a much more modest debut than Franco, as he struggled in the DSL while Franco jumped straight to the Appalachian League. Colmenarez is a potential plus defender at shortstop. He’s a fluid and somewhat flashy shortstop, capable of making the highlight play. His arm is plus and he has a quick release. Offensively, he has a smooth, controlled and compact swing with plenty of bat speed. While he didn’t show any power in his pro debut, he projects to have above-average power. He is an above-average runner.

    The Future: Colmenarez’s injury-plagued 2021 season doesn’t change the fact that he is one of the Rays’ best young prospects. He has to prove that his offensive potential will turn into production, but he has a shot to be a well-rounded shortstop who can hit and be a plus defender. He’ll come to the Florida Complex League in 2022.

  12. 12. Mason Montgomery | LHP
    Mason Montgomery
    Born: Jun 17, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Minors: 3-2 | 2.04 ERA | 139 SO | 37 BB | 89 IP

    May Update: Montgomery’s ability to get swings and misses with his 90-94 mph fastball up in the zone thanks to above-average fastball life helped him dominate in a short stint in the Florida Complex League last year. It was just as effective in spring training, which led the Rays to push him to High-A Bowling Green. He’s quickly become one of the more dominant starters in the South Atlantic League. Montgomery has a little hitch in his delivery that seems to throw off hitters’ timing. He has a developing changeup and a usable slider and has quickly become one of the team’s more promising young starters.

  13. 13. Willy Vasquez | SS
    Willy Vasquez
    Born: Sep 6, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 191
    Signed By: Remmy Hernandez/Daniel Santana.
    Minors: .246/.300/.380 | 6 HR | 18 SB | 350 AB

    Track Record: When Vasquez signed with the Rays in 2019, he was expected to be a third baseman in a Rays international class full of shortstops—the official MLB stats portal incorrectly lists him as a catcher. Two years later, Vasquez is proving to be the most polished shortstop of that signing class. He’s gotten bigger and stronger without losing any agility. After an excellent pro debut in the Florida Complex League, he was promoted to Low-A Charleston for the playoffs and helped the RiverDogs win their league title by ripping a bases-clearing three-run triple in the deciding game.

    Scouting Report: In 2014, the Rays acquired another Willy (Adames) in a trade with the Tigers. At the time, Adames was seen by many as someone who would outgrow shortstop, but he kept working on his agility to ensure he could remain at the position. Vasquez has a similar battle to fight, as he could outgrow shortstop, but he shows the body control, range and hands to stick there if he continues to make defensive development a focus. At the plate, Vasquez has the building blocks to be an above-average offensive player. He has above-average bat speed and has shown the ability already to drive a ball at 110-111 mph exit velocities at his best. Vasquez shows a solid understanding of the game at a young age and has developed into a team leader.

    The Future: The Rays have a slew of shortstop prospects in the lower levels of the minors, but Vasquez has one of the best combinations of offensive and defensive impact potential. He should be ready for Low-A in 2022, having gotten a brief glimpse of what it’s like to play in front of crowds to wrap up 2021.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  14. 14. Greg Jones | SS
    Greg Jones
    Born: Mar 7, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: UNC Wilmington, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Joe Hastings.
    Minors: .245/.330/.411 | 6 HR | 32 SB | 241 AB

    Track Record: The Rays collect shortstops like some fans collect bobbleheads. Tampa Bay’s reasoning is that shortstops who can hit can eventually find their way to almost anywhere around the diamond. Of all the Rays’ many minor league shortstops, Jones has the loudest tools. He’s shown flashes of being a power-speed threat who could be on a development path similar to Josh Lowe. Nagging injuries have slowed Jones’ development. His draft year a shoulder injury affected his throwing, a knee injury slowed him in 2020. And a quad injury kept him from going to the Arizona Fall League this year.

    Scouting Report: There’s little Jones can’t do on a baseball field. He’s one of the Rays’ fastest runners, and he showed that plus-plus speed by swiping 34 bases in 36 tries. He also has plus raw power thanks to him having some of the best bat speed in the organization. His plus arm plays very well at shortstop—no Rays MiLB shortstop can make the highlight-level play better than Jones. While he makes the “can-you-believe-it"" play, he’ll sometimes botch the routine one. His hands need to get a little softer. While he has speed and power, he’s prone to chasing pitches and doesn’t work counts all that well. His level swing isn’t necessarily geared for hitting home runs, but he hits the ball hard consistently enough to get to 15-20 of them per season..

    The Future: Jones has the highest ceiling of the Rays many shortstop prospects thanks to his speed and developing power. He always has a fallback option of developing into a rangy center fielder. Jones is ticketed to return to Double-A Montgomery in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 55. Speed: 70. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60.

  15. 15. Osleivis Basabe | 2B/SS
    Osleivis Basabe
    Born: Sep 13, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 165
    Signed By: Carlos Plaza/Rafic Saab (Rangers).
    Minors: .313/.374/.441 | 4 HR | 12 SB | 345 AB

    Track Record: When the Rangers failed to sign Shohei Ohtani, they turned some of the bonus pool space they had acquired to pursue Ohtani to sign Basabe for $550,000. The Rangers then traded Basabe in the deal that sent Nate Lowe to Texas. Basabe’s younger brother Edgar is now a player in the Rangers’ system.

    Scouting Report: When Basabe couldn’t travel back to Venezuela for the first half of the pandemic he made the best of it by working on getting stronger. Basabe is a pretty pure hitter with a line drive-oriented swing that stays in the zone a long time. He’s a premium athlete with plus speed and a plus arm. His swing isn’t geared to power right now, but he has the strength to get to average power as he matures if he makes some tweaks. He bounced around the infield because he shared the diamond with Alika Williams, but he’s a capable, above-average shortstop and potentially plus at second or third. He was a plus center fielder as an amateur as well.

    The Future: The Rays will be trying to stuff nine to ten infielders into six to eight spots on the Class A teams. That may mean Basabe plays less shortstop and more around the infield at High-A Bowling Green.

  16. 16. Austin Shenton | 3B
    Austin Shenton
    Born: Jan 22, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Florida International, 2019 (5th round).
    Signed By: Dan Rovetto.
    Minors: .236/.338/.415 | 8 HR | 0 SB | 195 AB

    Track Record: Shenton has always hit. He hit well over .300 as a freshman at Bellevue (Wash.) JC, in two years at Florida International and in the Cape Cod League. In pro ball, he’s hit .295 and .298 in his two seasons. The Rays picked him up along with righthander JT Chargois in a July trade that sent righthander Diego Castillo to Seattle.

    Scouting Report: Shenton’s path to the big leagues is based on his feel for the strike zone and his ability to drive the ball when he gets a pitch he likes. Shenton’s hands work well, giving him excellent barrel control and the ability to use the whole field. He’s also a pest to pitchers because he’s a master of the good take, which leads to excellent on-base percentages. He projects as a plus hitter with average power. Shenton is a below-average defender at third, thanks to poor footwork and some stiffness, but there is the hope that he could improve to be playable there. He does have an average arm. He also should be fine at first and runs just well enough (he’s a 40 runner) to make left and right field a sporadic option.

    The Future: It will take some creativity to figure out how to get Shenton MLB at-bats because of his defensive limitations, but he hits enough to be worth the effort.

  17. 17. Kameron Misner | OF
    Kameron Misner
    Born: Jan 8, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 219
    Drafted/Signed: Missouri, 2019 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Joe Dunigan.
    Minors: .232/.384/.451 | 16 HR | 21 SB | 297 AB

    Track Record: Misner showed an enticing power-speed combination during his time at Missouri, though strikeout issues caught up to him during his draft year. What was to be his first full season was wiped out by the pandemic, so he spent 2021 between High-A Beloit and Double-A Pensacola. He was acquired by the Rays in a 40-man roster-clearing move that sent Joey Wendle to Miami.

    Scouting Report: Misner is a three-true-outcomes player. Of his 658 official plate appearances, 42.4% have ended in either a walk, a home run or a strikeout. The Marlins were working to adjust his swing in order to keep the barrel in the zone longer to add some hittability. They also wanted to correct an issue which saw Misner too often get stuck on the back side of his swing and spin off the ball rather than powering through contact. Misner is an athletic defender with the ability to stick in center field, though he dabbled in right and left field at both of his stops in 2021. He earns above-average grades for both his arm strength and speed on the bases, and has proved to be an extremely efficient basestealer.

    The Future: Misner continued to play to script in the Arizona Fall League, where his seven home runs were tied for the second most, and nearly 60% of his plate appearances were walks, strikeouts or home runs. He’s expected to head to Double-A Montgomery in 2022.

  18. 18. Rene Pinto | C
    Rene Pinto
    Born: Nov 2, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: William Bergolla/Ronnie Blanco/Marlon Roche.
    Minors: .273/.339/.497 | 7 HR | 1 SB | 165 AB

    Track Record: Catching is a family tradition for Rene Pinto. His father Rene was a minor league catcher in the Yankees system from 1994-2000 and ranked as the team’s best defensive catcher in 1998. The younger Pinto signed in 2013 for $100,000, but he largely worked in obscurity until this season. He more than doubled his career high in home runs and threw out 37.5% of basestealers.

    Scouting Report: Pinto has been a solid defensive catcher for a few years. He calls a good game, has a plus-plus arm and has steadily improved his receiving to average. Pinto has opened up his stance and adopted a higher hand set. He doesn’t hit the ball exceptionally hard, but he hits the ball consistently hard, driving balls over the fence to both power alleys. He’s still an aggressive hitter, but with his newfound power, his offensive profile has improved. Now he looks like a .230-.240 hitter, but with the 20-home run power that can make that work as a catcher. Like most catchers, he is a station-to-station runner.

    The Future: The Rays had to add Pinto the 40-man roster both to protect him from the Rule 5 draft and to ensure he couldn’t leave as a minor league free agent. Pinto should eventually be a backup catcher with a shot to be a second-division regular.

  19. 19. Mason Auer | OF
    Mason Auer
    Born: Mar 1, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 210
    Minors: .285/.362/.462 | 9 HR | 39 SB | 351 AB

    Midseason Update: When Mason Auer was in high school and early in his college career, there was an open question of whether he fit better on the mound or in the outfield. That arm is still apparent in the outfield, but he’s found a home as a position player. The Rays promoted him to High-A Bowling Green recently after he blitzed Low-A Charleston. Auer’s nine triples led the minors as of July 5, and he’s swiped bases with ease. Auer is a plus-plus runner with a plus arm. He’s a plus defender in the corner outfield spots with the range to sporadically play center. At the plate, his max exit velocities are some of the best in the Rays organization, although he doesn’t hit a ton of line drives. Auer has shown a discerning batting eye so far, but now he’ll be tested in High-A to see if he can maintain that approach against tougher pitching.

  20. 20. Miles Mastrobuoni | SS
    Miles Mastrobuoni
    Born: Oct 31, 1995
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 175
    Minors: .283/.359/.424 | 9 HR | 17 SB | 375 AB

    Midseason Update: The Rays seem to specialize in acquiring and developing versatile infielders who find a way to get to the majors with somewhat modest tools. Mastrobuoni seems to be the next in line. He’s started at six different positions this year for Triple-A Durham (seven if you count DH), as first base and catcher are pretty much the only positions he can’t handle. He’s limited in his range, but he has reliable hands and a solid understanding of what to do wherever he plays. At the plate, he’s a contact hitter who doesn’t chase out of the zone and doesn’t miss if he gets a fastball in it. It’s more of a line-drive swing than one geared for power, but he projects as an average hitter with 5-10 home run power. Mastrobuoni will likely never be an MLB starter, but it’s also likely he’ll find a way to an MLB role.

  21. 21. Cooper Kinney | 2B/3B
    Cooper Kinney
    Born: Jan 27, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Steven Ames.

    Track Record: The Rays like to collect all types of middle infielders. In the past five drafts, they have selected eight middle infielders in the top three rounds. Some, like Taylor Walls and Alika Williams, have great gloves. Kinney fits more in the Brandon Lowe camp as a bat-first middle infielder who will have to figure out a defensive home, but should hit enough to make it worth the effort. The South Carolina signee impressed in his brief pro debut, showing an extremely advanced batting eye in the Florida Complex League.

    Scouting Report: Most young hitters have to learn how to take pitchers’ pitches that end up just off the plate. Kinney already spits on those tantalizing sliders and fastballs away, forcing pitchers to come into the zone or give him a walk. His bat control, fluid swing and developing plus power give him a shot to be a well-rounded hitter. Depending on whether he focuses on contact or power, he could be a plus hitter or have plus power. Defensively, Kinney will have to stay on top of his conditioning and work on his flexibility to remain playable at second or third base. He is already a below-average runner and has below-average range, although he fields what’s hit to him. He has an average, accurate arm.

    The Future: The bat is the most important tool a position player can have, and Kinney has plenty of offensive potential. He’s ready for Low-A Charleston.

  22. 22. Tommy Romero | RHP
    Tommy Romero
    Born: Jul 8, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 225
    Signed By: Dan Rovetto (Mariners).
    Minors: 5-4 | 3.75 ERA | 51 SO | 24 BB | 63 IP

    Track Record: He’s not a prominent name, but there have been few more consistently successful minor league pitchers than Romero over the past five years. The Rays acquired Romero in May 2018 in a trade that sent Alex Colome and Denard Span to the Mariners. He’s never posted an ERA above 3.00 in any MiLB season.

    Scouting Report: When Romero was drafted, he rarely topped 92-93 mph. Now he can get to 95 mph. Maybe more importantly, his plus fastball has excellent carry. His extreme trunk tilt in his delivery leads to a straight-over-the-top delivery but with a low release point that gives him the flat vertical approach angle that helps a fastball play well at the top of the strike zone. He also has shown he can throw his slider, change and curve for strikes in any count. His average low-90s slider is his best secondary offering, but the change and curve are fringe-average as well. He’s one of the best strike-throwers in the minors (68.8% strikes in 2021) with plus-plus control. Because he avoids the heart of the plate, he limits hard contact.

    The Future: Romero can be a bulk-innings reliever or a back-of-the-rotation starter. Added to the 40-man, he should spend most of 2022 at Triple-A Durham, but he’ll move up and down as needed.

  23. 23. Heriberto Hernandez | OF
    Heriberto Hernandez
    Born: Dec 16, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Willy Espinal (Rangers).
    Minors: .246/.356/.486 | 17 HR | 5 SB | 317 AB

    Track Record: One of three players the Rays acquired from the Rangers for Nate Lowe last offseason (along with Osleivis Basabe and Alexander Ovalles), Hernandez was a low-cost $10,000 signing of the Rangers in 2017. He’s far exceeded those expectations since then. He was one of the best players in the Arizona Complex League in 2019. An oblique injury limited him to five games in the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: Hernandez hits the ball as hard as almost anyone in the system. He consistently tops 110 mph on his hardest-hit balls, although his power numbers haven’t fully reflected that plus-plus raw power yet. Hernandez also knows how to work counts and is happy to take a walk. He projects to hit .230-.240, but with plenty of walks and 20+ home runs. The demands on his bat are going to be hefty, because he doesn’t do a whole lot else well. Once a catcher, Hernandez is now a well-below-average defender in the outfield corners. His above-average arm plays in right, but his well below-average speed will limit him.

    The Future: Hernandez has excellent bat speed and the chance to get on-base and hit for power. Like several other Rays prospects, his lack of a clear defensive home leads to plenty of questions.

  24. 24. Brett Wisely | 2B
    Brett Wisely
    Born: May 8, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 180
    Minors: .263/.363/.442 | 11 HR | 26 SB | 312 AB

    Midseason Update: Brett Wiseley isn’t particularly flashy, and he’s a second baseman who is stretched when he slides over to shortstop. He’s actually played more games at first base than shortstop this year. But what Wiseley does very well is hit with a simple, effective contact-oriented swing. Scouts and other evaluators are quite sure that he’s going to hit his way to some sort of big league role. His hit tool may be Wiseley’s only plus tool, but he’s an average defender at second base and plus at first (although he doesn’t profile there).

  25. 25. Alika Williams | SS
    Alika Williams
    Born: Mar 12, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Arizona State, 2020 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: David Hamlett.
    Minors: .251/.331/.418 | 10 HR | 4 SB | 263 AB

    Track Record: As a supplemental first-round pick, Williams was the second-highest drafted Arizona State shortstop of all time, trailing only Red Sox shortstop Deven Marrero (24th overall, 2012). Like Marrero, no one disputes Williams’ defensive skills, but there have long been concerns over whether he will hit enough to be a regular.

    Scouting Report: Williams has lived up to the lofty expectations for his plus glove. He’s a rangy shortstop who has a good understanding of when to make the highlight play and when to hold the ball. He moves well both to his left and right and has excellent body control. His above-average arm plays even better than that because of a quick release. He’s capable of making accurate throws without the need to set his feet. His bat remains the question, but he has shown modest improvement at the plate in 2022. He’s not hitting the ball much harder consistently, but he’s managing to hit for more power anyway.

    The Future: Williams is the best pure defender in the Rays minor league system. But he’s going to need to continue to become more patient and get stronger and drive the ball more.

  26. 26. Sandy Gaston | RHP
    Sandy Gaston
    Born: Dec 16, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Carlos Rodriguez/Danny Santana.
    Minors: 2-4 | 4.59 ERA | 69 SO | 52 BB | 51 IP

    Track Record: A $2.6 million signee out of Cuba in 2018, Gaston was one of the hardest-throwing 16-year-olds anyone had ever seen—he regularly touched 96-97 mph and brushed higher. But Gaston had very poor control, an extremely long arm action and an effortful delivery that finished with plenty of recoil. The Rays have helped him rework his delivery. He now throws with a much shorter arm action and significantly less effort.

    Scouting Report: Gaston has one of the best arms in an organization filled with big arms. He can touch 100 mph as a starter and will sit at 96-98 mph in his best outings. Gaston’s fastball has good movement to go with his velocity. What he struggles to do is to get everything synced up, as his extremely fast arm means he has trouble staying in sync with his delivery, which leads to well below-average control. He made strides with turning a slurvy breaking ball into two different pitches. He now throws a cutterish slider and a bigger, downer low-80s power curveball. The curve has a chance to be at least above-average, and his changeup flashes at average as well.

    The Future: Gaston still has a lot of work ahead of him. His control will have to improve by two grades for him to reach his impressive potential, but he’s already made significant strides and he’s shown his coachability and adaptability.

  27. 27. Junior Caminero | SS
    Junior Caminero
    Born: Jul 5, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'0" Wt.: 157
    Minors: .305/.387/.438 | 4 HR | 7 SB | 128 AB

    Midseason Update: The Rays picked up Caminero in the deal that sent righthander Tobias Myers to the Guardians. The move helped Tampa Bay get out of a 40-man roster jam as Myers needed to be added to it while Caminero is years away from a protection decision. Caminero has shown physicality this year and an energetic approach. Long term he has to show he can slow the game down to stay at shortstop, but he should be able to handle third or second base if he can’t stick at short. He has good hands and smooth actions. He should develop power, but for now it’s a contact-oriented approach with solid bat-to-ball skills.

  28. 28. Ryan Spikes | 2B
    Ryan Spikes
    Born: Mar 13, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 185
    Minors: .243/.330/.416 | 7 HR | 11 SB | 185 AB

    Midseason Update: A quad strain kept Spikes out at the start of the season, but he’s made up for lost time since arriving in Low-A Charleston. He’s shown promise at the plate while settling in at second base.

  29. 29. Ian Seymour | LHP
    Ian Seymour
    Born: Dec 13, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Virginia Tech, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Landon Lassiter.
    Minors: 0-2 | 8.10 ERA | 23 SO | 12 BB | 17 IP

    Track Record: Seymour is one of the best pitchers in Virginia Tech history, which just happens to be the alma mater of Rays GM Erik Neander. Seymour likely would have become the Hokies’ all-time strikeout leader if not for the shortened 2020 season. The Rays picked him in the second round and saw him blossom in his pro debut in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Seymour is funky. He uses a relatively unique motion, as he begins by taking a simple step back with his right foot that feeds into his hip turn. It’s a very rotational delivery with plenty of crossfire and sometimes a head whack. The delivery helps him hide the ball, and his 90-94 mph plus fastball has exceptional carry through the top of the zone as well as a flat approach angle that generates swings and misses. His 79-83 mph plus changeup has solid velocity separation and plenty of deception and fade. Seymour’s fringe-average slider comes and goes too much. It needs to develop if he’s going to turn over a lineup twice. He also throws a slow, get-over curve. Despite his delivery, Seymour is a strike-thrower with above-average control.

    The Future: Seymour has the stuff to pitch in the majors. If he doesn’t develop his breaking ball, he’s likely a multi-inning reliever or a bulk-inning pitcher who can go through the lineup once. If he can find a more consistent slider or curve, he could be a back-end starter.

  30. 30. Austin Vernon | RHP
    Austin Vernon
    Born: Feb 8, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'8" Wt.: 265
    Minors: 9-2 | 2.26 ERA | 99 SO | 33 BB | 68 IP

    Midseason Update: A massive 6-foot-8 righthander with an impressive mid-90s fastball that touches 97-98, Vernon blitzed through Low-A Charleston, striking out 14 batters per nine innings. He mixes a pair of breaking balls that both show promise.

View Players 11-30

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