2011 MLB Draft: Tampa Bay Rays
The one you've been waiting for!
1) Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, South Carolina HS: The Rays set aside concerns about his makeup due to his number one starter potential: 93-98 MPH fastball, strong curve, and a decent cutter and change he'll need to use more. Fits perfectly into Rays development program.
1) Mikie Mahtook, OF, LSU: I think this is a huge bargain at 31st overall. Mahtook has good tools and developed very rapidly at LSU, not missing a beat this year despite the new bats. I thought he was a Top 20 talent. Hit .383/.496/.709 with 41 walks, 29 steals.
1) Jake Hager, SS, Nevada HS: A slight overdraft but I understand it. Baseball rat with solid tools, has a chance to stick at shortstop, should hit for average with gap power. Arizona State commitment.
1S) Brandon Martin, SS, California HS: Raw player, also has a chance to stick at short, line drive hitter, good speed. Nice complement to Hager. Oregon State commitment.
1S) Tyler Goeddel, 3B, California HS: Good athlete, runs well, good arm, should hit for average, scouts wonder if he'll have the power for third base long-term. UCLA commitment.
1S) Jeff Ames, RHP, Lower Columbia JC: Mid-90s fastball, breaking ball and changeup are inconsistent, but has a high ceiling.
1S) Blake Snell, LHP, Washington HS: Skinny lefty, tall, works in low 90s with more velocity possible. Breaking stuff needs work and he's fairly raw, but lots of potential.
1S) Kes Carter, OF, Western Kentucky: Very good tools across the board, very good performance. Hit .344/.430/.549 with 31 walks.
1S) Grayson Garvin, LHP, Vanderbilt: Took step forward this year with increased velocity to go with his solid changeup, breaking ball draws mixed reviews. Throws strikes. 13-1, 2.36, 92/24 K/BB in 107 IP.
1S) James Harris, OF, California HS: Surprise pick but not that much of a reach; excellent athlete, good speed, power potential, already draws walks.
2) Granden Goetzman, OF, Florida HS: Big right-handed power, also has above average speed, excellent choice in the second round; he was considered a first-round candidate. Florida Gulf Coast commitment.
2) Lenny Linsky, RHP, Hawaii: Low-to-mid-90s power sinker and hard slider with aggressive nature should make him a fine reliever and possible closer. 1.30 ERA, 34/9 K/BB in 35 IP, 14 SV.
3) Johnny Eierman, OF, Missouri HS: Excellent athlete, runs well, has power, rather raw and will need development time. LSU commitment.
4) Riccio Torrez, 3B, Arizona State: Average tools but good track record of college performance and good intangibles. Profiles as super-utility player. .307/.363/.469, 15 steals.
5) J.D. Davis, 3B, California HS: Power hitter, strong arm, probably won't hit for average. Cal State Fullerton commitment.
6) Jake Floethe, RHP, Cal State Fullerton: Tommy John survivor has average stuff, could be fifth starter or relief type. 3.82 ERA, 49/26 K/BB in 64 innings.
7) Ryan Carpenter, LHP, Gonzaga: Inconsistent fastball, clocked in mid-90s at times but more often in 85-89 range this year, good curveball, good changeup, excellent statistics. Wild card. 2.62 ERA, 107/33 K/BB in 96 innings.
8) John Alexander, 1B, California HS: Athletic, rather raw, has good power potential, UC Irvine commitment. Could be a much higher pick in 2014 if he goes to college and develops.
9) Matt Rice, C, Western Kentucky: Average tools with excellent makeup, good college statistics, hit .360/.444/.551 with 35 walks.
10) Jacob Faria, RHP, California HS: Doesn't throw hard right now, projectable arm. Like Alexander, if he goes to college (Cal State Fullerton) he could be a much higher pick in '14.
OTHERS OF NOTE: 1B Cameron Seitzer (11th round, Oklahoma) has major league bloodlines and a very polished bat, but lacks the power normally associated with first base. OF Tanner English (13th round, South Carolina HS) is a speed/tools guy with signability issues due to strong South Carolina commitment.
SUMMARY: Some Rays fans actually seem disappointed in this draft, but I think the Rays did a good job balancing talent with the unavoidable financial concerns. In the first two rounds, Mahtook (a real steal), Carter, Garvin, and Linsky are four players who could help pretty quickly. Guerrieri is a potential number one starter, Hager, Martin, and Goeddel are the foundation for a future infield, Harris and Goetzman are possible impact outfielders, while Ames and Snell are upside arms with some risk. Eierman could also be excellent. Overall I think the Rays did a fine job.