Tampa Bay Rays Top 20 Prospects In Review

The Tampa Bay list was posted January 10th, 2008. This is a REVIEW OF THAT LIST. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST!!! THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST!!!!!!

1) Evan Longoria, 3B, Grade A
     Hitting .272/.345/.522 with 18 homers for the Rays. Rookie of the Year candidate.
2) David Price, LHP, Grade A
     8-0, 1.92 between A-ball and Double-A with 62/17 K/BB in 66 innings. Assuming he stays healthy, he's terrific.
3) Jacob McGee, LHP, Grade A
     Blew out elbow, had Tommy John surgery.
4) Wade Davis, RHP, Grade B+
     3.85 ERA with 81/42 K/BB in 108 innings in Double-A. Just promoted to Triple-a, threw well in first start. Command has been a bit of at times but overall he's doing pretty well.
5) Reid Brignac, SS, Grade B+
     HItting .266/.315/.424 for Triple-A Durham. Is he ever REALLY going to break out? Still just 22.    
6) Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Grade B+
      2.00 ERA with 83/5 K/BB in 77 innings in A-ball, then 4.88 ERA in five Double-A starts but with a 20/3 K/BB in 28 innings. Outstanding command, good stuff, I think he will adjust.
7) Desmond Jennings, OF, Grade B+
     Out for the year with shoulder problems.
8) Jeff Niemann, RHP, Grade B
     7-3, 3.33 with 80/30 K/BB in 84 innings in Triple-A, 65 hits allowed. Still looks like an inning-eater type to me.
9) Eduardo Morlan, RHP, Grade B
     Limited to 23 innings in Double-A by some early season injuries, but has a 3.09 ERA and a 19/6 K/BB. Still a nice bullpen prospect.
10) John Jaso, C, Grade B
      Hitting .271/.408/.405 for Double-A Montgomery, repeating the league but with wosre performance than last year. Excellent strike zone judgment.
11) Ryan Royster, OF, Grade B-
     .257/.300/.356 for Vero Beach. Poor plate discipline has prevented him from building on 2007 success, stock has dropped. 
12) Chris Mason, RHP, Grade B-
       6.47 ERA with 77/31 K/BB for Triple-A Durham, 119 hits in 89 innings and 18 homers allowed. Way too hittable, has been unable to adjust to Triple-A competition.
13) Nick Barnese, RHP, Grade B-
       Looking good in the New York-Penn League so far: 1.57 ERA with 41/11 K/BB in 34 innings, 26 hits allowed. Stock on the rise.
14) Mitch Talbot, RHP, Grade C+
       4.47 ERA with 94/19 K/BB in 117 innings for Durham, 124 hits allowed. Nice K/BB ratio, could still be an inning-eater type though not dominant.
15) Heath Rollins, RHP, Grade C+
       3.28 ERA with 103/22 K/BB in 113 innings for Vero Beach, 96 hits allowed. Pitching well, but needs to be given a chance at higher levels before we know exactly how good he is.
16) Glenn Gibson, LHP, Grade C+
       7.44 ERA with 49/41 K/BB in 79 innings for Columbus in the Sally League, 104 hits allowed. All ratios have completely collapsed compared to his strong short-season performance last year. I have to wonder if he is healthy.
17) Fernando Perez, OF, Grade C+
      Hitting .287/.361/.398 with 30 steals for Durham. Impressive speed and defensive skills, some pop, strikes out a lot but will also take a walk. Would be a fine fourth outfielder.
18) James Houser, LHP, Grade C+
      3.03 ERA with 69/34 K/BB in 86 innings, 66 hits allowed for Double-A Montgomery. Holding his own, needs a promotion to Triple-A to test his skills as he is repeating the league.
19) Justin Ruggiano, OF, Grade C+
       .305/.365/.506 with 18 steals for Durham. I know scouts still don't seem to like him much and he's 26, but c'mon, this guy needs a shot somewhere.
20) Sergio Pedroza, OF, Grade C+
      .262/.349/.371 for Montgomery. Hasn't been able to hit Double-A pitching for the same kind of power he showed in the lower minors.

Injury attrition has claimed the very promising Desmond Jennings and Jacob McGee, but the Rays have such strong system depth that they can compensate. Hopefully Price's early season arm woes will not recur. I'm starting to wonder about Brignac, if he will ever live up to his complete potential, though again he is still very young.

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