Tampa Bay Rays 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (1) | 2009 (4) | 2008 (1) | 2007 (1) | 2006 (10) | 2005 (9) | 2004 (9)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [84 – 78] AL East
AAA: [88 – 55] International League – Durham
AA: [72 – 65] Southern League – Montgomery
A+: [80 – 59] Florida League – Charlotte
A: [61 – 78] Midwest League – Bowling Green
A(ss): [39 – 36] New York – Pennsylvania – Hudson Valley
The Run Down
The Rays have enough young, good pitchers that they can just pull one out for a spot start with mild success like Alex Cobb. Then they have everyone’s favorite young pitcher in Jeremy Hellickson making the opening day rotation. Jake McGee struggled but has the skills and pitches to eventually be a major league regular. Elliot Johnson looks overmatched at times, but has provided serviceable defense and at-bats. The one prospect they are missing is the can’t miss hitter. Desmond Jennings has tremendous upside, and given the opportunity, could be a solid major league contributor today (assuming you buffer and accept some rookie slumps). However, beyond Jennings, the next rated hitting prospect (#5 (OF) Josh Sale) hasn’t played in the minors and then (#8 (C) Justin O’Conner) has just played in rookie league. The sustained excellence of the Rays minor league system has been in their pitching prospects. They may have to start trading some of their pitching prospects too for a hitter, especially since there are only so many rotation and bullpen spots for some of the high-ceiling arms. Here’s a look at some prospects for the 2011 season and beyond.
Players of Interest
* All player rankings are from Baseball America Handbook 2011
#3 Desmond Jennings | CF: A household name by now, with comparisons to Carl Crawford. The one concern throughout his career are injuries. However, in 2010 he had a slash line of .278/.362/.393 in 458 at-bats to go along with 34 XBH (3 Hr), 37 steals in 41 attempts and a 67:47 K:BB Ratio at Triple-A. Currently, he’s back at Triple-A waiting for an opening.
#16 Alex Cobb | RHP: Although his major league debut wasn’t anything spectacular, Cobb has pitched well at Triple-A this year. He’s currently sporting a 11.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 22 Triple-A innings. This was after posting a 9.6 K/9, a 2.6 BB/9 in 119 2/3 IP with middling control (1.30 WHIP) at Double-A. He throws a low 90s fastball with sinking action, an above-average changeup, a curveball that is better than his slider. Baseball America believe his future is as a set-up man or a number four of five starter.
#2 Matt Moore | LHP: I fell in love with Hellickson in 2007, I’m in love all over again with Moore. He throws a 92 to 96 MPH fastball, an excellent curveball and an above-average changeup that could become a plus-plus pitch. His strikeouts (12.9 K/9) and control (3.8 BB/9) remind me of Clayton Kershaw. With 144 2/3 innings last year at High-A, when he is called up, there shouldn’t be much holding back. He’s currently at Double-A with with the following rates: 11.8 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 in 24 1/3 innings. It’s early, but Moore will be a force.
#6 Alex Torres | LHP:Throws a 88 to 91 fastball with tremendous amounts of movement, a tight slider, and a biting curve. His control is lacking due to a couple of reasons. One, his arm slot is inconsistent, and two, the movement of his pitches are extraordinary. Last year, he posted a good strikeout rate (9.5 K/9) with questionable control (4.4 BB/9) in 142 2/3 innings at Double-A. He’s currently at Triple-A struggling with his control. Long-term he’s a number two or three starter if reaching ceiling. Otherwise, he could be a solid set-up man.
#15 Tim Beckham | SS/3B: Has been derailed by a wrist injury and hasn’t lived up to expectations. Still has a high ceiling with his plus bat speed and quick wrists. Will need to lay off the high fastball and play better defense. He has a good hitting approach and at just 21 (D.o.B: 1-27-90), not sure why he’s starting to be written off. His slash line last year wasn’t pretty (.256/.346/.359 in 465 AB), though he did have 22 steals in 36 attempts and a 119:62 K:BB ratio at High-A. He’s currently trying to improve upon those numbers at Double-A with mild success.
#4 (CHC) Hak-Ju Lee | SS: Received in the Matt Garza trade, Lee has plus-plus speed and a good hitting approach. Still needs to physically develop and scouts believe his swing will produce average power (10 to 15 home runs). Last year he slashed .282/.354/.351 in 485 at-bats with 27 XBH (1 Hr), 32 steals in 39 attempts with a 86:49 K:BB ratio at Single-A. Currently at High-A. Could be another Starlin Castro.
#1 (CHC) Chris Archer | RHP: Also received in the Matt Garza trade, Archer throws a 92 to 95 MPH fastball (has topped 97 MPH) with a mid 80s slider. Both are plus-plus pitches. Struggles with control (4.1 BB/9 last year), but has great strikeout potential (9.4 K/9 last year). He threw 142 1/3 innings last year at High-A and Double-A. Currently throwing at Double-A again to start this year.
#7 Alexander Colome | RHP: Has 91 to 93 MPH fastball that tops at 96 MPH. His curveball has the potential to be a plus-pitcher and his changeup has become more consistent. His 9.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 114 innings at Single-A last year were impressive. Currently, he’s struggling to have solid traditional stats at High-A but still is keeping similar ratios at High-A. His ceiling is a number three starter.
#20 Zach Quate | RHP: Quate is a minor league closer that throws a 90-91 MPH fastball and a slider that is deceptive due to having the same arm slot as his fastball. He had a 11.2 K/9 last year with good control (2.2 BB/9) at High-A. Currently, he’s not having the same kind of success at Double-A with a 5.5 K/9 rate, but still has impeccable control (.7 BB/9) in 13 innings (10 Appearances, 4 saves) and a 1.00 WHIP. Quate is nothing more than a bullpen arm.