Tampa Bay Rays (91-71, Wild Card Tie)
Wil Myers, OF: Rookie outfielder, age 22, acquired from the Royals in the James Shields trade had an excellent debut, hitting .295/.353/.482 with 13 homers and 23 doubles in 87 games. He whiffed 90 times but drew 31 walks while tying Evan Longoria for the team lead with a 131 OPS+. Myers’ debut was everything that the Rays could have hoped for and he should be a lineup mainstay for years to come. He was drafted by Kansas City in the third round in 2009 from high school in North Carolina.
Tim Beckham, INF: Beckham was the first-overall pick in the 2008 draft, out of high school in Georgia. Age 22, he has not lived up to his early billing but he did reach the majors in September, going 3-for-7 in five games. He hit .276/.342/.387 with 17 steals in 122 games for Triple-A Durham. The Rays haven’t given up on Beckham as a shortstop, though most non-Tampa sources feel his range fits better at second base.
Chris Archer, RHP: The 24 year old Archer was one of the most successful rookie starters in the game this year, posting a 3.22 ERA, 101/38 K/BB in 129 innings with 107 hits allowed, with a 9-7 record in 23 starts. He works with a fastball up to 96 MPH, also utilizing a slider and changeup. Overpowering at his best, he’s shown greatly improved command over the last two years. He was originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the fifth round in 2006 from high school in North Carolina, was traded to the Cubs in ’08, then to the Rays in the 2011 Matt Garza deal.
Alex Torres, LHP: Age 25, Venezuelan lefty Torres struggled through a horrible 2012 season in the minors but was outstanding in the big leagues in ’13, posting a 1.71 ERA with a 62/20 K/BB in 58 innings, 32 hits allowed, all in relief. A deceptive delivery helps his low-90s fastball, change-up, and cutter play up. Originally signed by the Angels, he was traded to the Rays in the 2009 Scott Kazmir deal.
Jake Odorizzi, RHP: Age 23, he was originally drafted by the Brewers from an Illinois high school in 2008 as a supplemental first round pick. He was traded to the Royals in the big Zack Greinke trade, then on to the Rays in the Shields deal. In the majors this year, he posted a 3.94 ERA with a 22/8 K/BB in 30 innings, 28 hits allowed, between four starts and three relief outings. He throws strikes with four average pitches and profiles as a command-oriented inning-eater.
Alex Colome, RHP: Signed by the Rays out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Colome posted a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings over three starts with a 12/9 K/BB and 14 hits allowed. He missed the second half of the season with an elbow injury. When healthy, he can overpower hitters with mid-90s heat, a slider, and changeup. He is 24.
Enny Romero, LHP: This 22 year old southpaw from the Dominican Republic went 4.2 innings in one September start, allowing one hit and zero runs but walking four. He went 11-7 with a 2.61 ERA and a 112/75 K/BB in 148 innings between Double-A and Triple-A before his promotion, allowing only 114 hits. His mid-90s fastball, slider, and changeup can dominate, but he needs better command.