Tampa Bay Devil Rays Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
1) Delmon Young, OF
Hit .285/.303/.447 in 52 games after being promoted to Triple-A, at age 19. He is not perfect: his plate discipline needs work. But his combination of power, speed (32 steals), and youth makes him one of the elite prospects in the game.
2) Scott Kazmir, LHP
Went 10-9, 3.77 in 32 starts for Tampa, 174/100 K/BB in 186 innings. His control needs to improve, but if he stays healthy he should be an excellent pitcher for a long time to come.
3) Jeff Niemann, RHP
Went 0-2, 4.11 in 31 innings between Class A Visalia and Double-A Montgomery, 42/15 K/BB. Health a concern, had shoulder surgery after the season.
4) Wes Bankston, 1B-OF
Hit .292/.362/.482 in 82 games for Montgomery, with 12 homers. A solid prospect but where does he play?
5) Chad Orvella, RHP
3.60 ERA in 37 games of bullpen work for the D-Rays, struck out 43 in 50 innings. He should continue to post similar numbers with gradual improvement.
6) Elijah Dukes, OF
Hit .287/.355/.478 with 18 homers, 19 steals for Montgomery. Excellent tools, and he is developing the skills that make those tools meaningful. Main question remains personality and makeup.
7) Reid Brignac, SS
Hit .264/.319/.416 with 29 doubles, 15 homers for Class A Southwest Michigan. OK season but I thought he would do better than this. Had problems with contact, struck out more than once per game.
8) Jason Hammel, RHP
Went 8-2, 2.66 in 12 starts for Montgomery, then 3-2, 4.12 in 10 starts for Durham. 48/27 K/BB in 55 Triple-A innings shows decent strikeout rate but too many walks. Will need more time.
9) Joey Gathright, OF
Hit .276/.316/.340 with 20 steals in 76 major league games. No mystery here: he has tons of speed, but zero power and below average on-base skills.
10) James Houser, LHP
8-8, 3.76 in 22 starts for Southwest Michigan, 109/31 K/BB in 115 innings. Solid numbers all-around, just needs to stay healthy as he moves up. Good prospect.
11) Seth McClung, RHP
Went 7-11, 6.59 in 109 innings for the D-Rays, 92/62 K/BB. He has a good arm but is a thrower, not a pitcher, at this point.
12) John Barratt, LHP
Crushed in the California Leauge, 6.59 ERA in 71 innings. Struck out 79, but allowed 59 walks and 85 hits. Prospect status fading quickly.
13) Gabby Martinez, 1B
Combined to hit .245/.317/.397 between Visalia and Montgomery, unacceptably weak production from a corner player. Will get buried quickly.
14) Andy Sonnanstine, RHP
Combined to go 14-5, 2.99 in 181 innings between Southwest Michigan and Visalia, 178/18 K/BB. That's right, 178/18 K/BB. Command is excellent but stuff may be marginal at higher levels; we will see.
15) Chris Seddon, LHP
Combined to go 10-10, 5.23 between Montgomery and Durham, 116/63 K/BB in 148 innings, 172 hits allowed. Unattractive ratios, not much to get excited about.
16) Matt Diaz, OF
Dumped by Tampa, picked up by Royals, hit .371/.408/.649 in Triple-A. He should have been playing every day in September in KC, but Terrence Long had to have his playing time.
17) Jonny Gomes, OF
Hit .282/.372/.534 with 21 homers in 101 games for Tampa. He strikes out a lot but his power is real. Question now is how well batting average and OBP will hold up.
18) Jason Pridie, OF
Limited to just 29 games by injury. Very toolsy, has power and speed but an erratic track record. Unprotected under Rule 5 and may be selected.
19) Jarod Matthews, RHP
20) Shawn Riggans, C
Hit .310/.365/.454 in 89 games for Montgomery, but now age 25 and hasn't played Triple-A yet.
Poll question about the future of this system in the comments thread.