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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America

2012 (11) | 2011 (3) | 2010 (1) | 2009 (4) | 2008 (1) | 2007 (1)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [91-71] AL East

AAA: [80-62] International League – Durham

AA: [65-74] Southern League – Montgomery

A+: [64-75] Florida State League – Charlotte

A: [77-63] Midwest League – Bowling Green

A(ss): [37-39] New York-Penn League – Hudson Valley

The Run Down

It’s no secret that the Rays’ player development systems are tremendous.  And when reviewing these Rays prospects, it’s important to keep that in mind.  They’re so adept at churning out major league talent that it’s hard to imagine even the fringy guys not panning out.  It’s also no secret that Matt Moore is for real.  Of all the prospects arriving this year, I’m comfortable saying his impact will be the most profound – perhaps by a wide margin.  He makes everyone else in this post look kinda boring, but I assure you there are other bright spots in this Tampa Bay system.  As there will be next year, and the next year, and th… You get the idea.

Arizona Fall League PlayersSurprise Saguros

Shane Dyer (RHP); Marquis Fleming (RHP); Adam Liberatore (LHP); Tim Beckham (3B); Tyler Bortnick (2B); Mikie Mahtook (OF)

Graduated Prospects

Jeremy Hellickson (RHP); Desmond Jennings (OF); Jake McGee (LHP); Alex Cobb (RHP)

Players of Interest

Hitters

Brandon Guyer | OF:

At 26-years-old, Guyer has little left to prove in the minors.  48 XBH (14 homers) in 443 trips to the plate with Durham reflects his readiness.  Guyer has the tools and makeup of a regular in the bigs.  It’s only a matter of time, now, ’til his opportunity arrives.

Tim Beckham | SS:

Beckham was the #1 overall selection in the 2008 draft, but he’s been a disappointment thus far.  Despite his struggles, he has been able to push his way through to Triple-A and 2011 was his best professional year to-date – still not great, though:  .271/.328/.408.  At 22-years-old, I suppose there’s still time for him to come around.  I find it unlikely, however, that he’ll ever be much more than a bench player in the majors.  Beckham will open 2012 back in Durham.

Pitchers

Matt Moore | RHP – SP:

Moore ranks as my top prospect for 2012 and you can read that post here.  Just yesterday, I happily overpaid for him in an auction for a weekly H2H.  His RP eligibility allows me to free up an extra SP slot – one which I’ll exploit with 2-start pickups off the wire.  I hate closers, anyway.

Alex Torres | LHP – SP:

Torres has already pitched some high-leverage innings with the Rays late last season and he’s ready to return to big league action for 2012.  Unfortunately, though, Tampa’s rotation is too crowded to accommodate.  Torres will open 2012 in Triple-A, instead.  A filthy fastball-changeup combo helped him lead the International League in strikeouts last season.  He’d likely be the first option if the big club has a need.

Honorable Mention

Hitters

Hak-Ju Lee | SS:

I recently ranked Lee at #25 in my Top 25 Prospects for 2013 & Beyond post.  His defense is major league-ready now, and I’m confident his bat will be ready by 2013. The Rays could use help at short, so don’t expect them to be overly patient with Lee.

Mikie Mahtook | OF:

Mahtook, a first-round selection in last June’s draft, signed late and made his pro debut – an impressive one – in the Arizona Fall League.  The LSU product is advanced enough to start 2012 in High-A and he should move quickly from there.  Still, don’t expect to see him in Tampa ’til 2014.

Pitchers

Chris Archer | RHP – SP:

Archer will open 2012 with Durham and he’s widely thought to be arriving in Tampa at some point this year.  I’m a little more skeptical.  Stuff-wise, he’s certainly capable of blossoming into a frontend starter, but control issues are holding him back.  He needs to develop an improved feel for his delivery if he’s to succeed in the majors and he hasn’t shown enough in that regard for me to believe that he will.  Dangerous guy if he gets it together, though.

Alex Colome | RHP – SP:

Colome delivers an effortless mid-90′s sinker and counters with a nice change and a work-in-progress slider.  Like Archer, he can be wild at times, but the Rays are confident he’ll develop into a quality mid-rotation starter.  I believe them.  A 2013 arrival seems likely.

  1. JungleMike says:
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    All right, I’ve got a very serious question – how many leagues is too many? I’m already in 3 roto leagues… and kinda want to join another….

    • Peter says:
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      @JungleMike,

      Depends on different circumstances. Scenario #1: If its public leagues (no money), you’ve already surpassed what I think is the threshold – no more than one league because then what ultimately happens is you only follow the one or two teams that you like or is winning. This hurts participants of the league who actually care of the outcome. Most public leagues have at least one manager that vanishes.

      Scenario #2: If its private leagues (no money), see scenario #1 – same threshold but with one exception in which case you may be in one league that is roto and another that is h2h. I say roto and h2h because they require different strategies and although some tactics overlap, the differences outweigh the similarities and therefore I don’t think you would over leverage yourself. So basically the limit is 2 leagues. Private leagues are typically done with people you know so this exception prevails because you are put in a scenario were you are pressured to perform at a level expected from your friends. As a result, there is accountability.

      Scenario #3: If its money leagues (private or public), the sky is the limit. I love the competition and being engaged. Also, in general when people put money on the line they are serious about following their players and making moves. Having said that, I’m only in one private/money league because I want to win and I think the best opportunity in winning is being able to put all my energy and concentration on one team.

      A fantasy baseball season, if followed correctly, can become exhaustive. So those are my thoughts.

    • Peter says:
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      @JungleMike,

      BTW, that was a serious answer to “a very serious question”.

      • JungleMike says:
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        @Peter, Very insightful. Thanks man. I appreciate your response and tend to agree with you. I think I’m going to hold off and focus on the leagues I’m already in. Plus, I don’t think my fiance would like it much if I spent even more time building fake teams.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @JungleMike, Drafting is fun. Everyone wants to join another league or two around this time of year because they want another draft before opening day. The grind of the season is what’ll lose ya. As Peter says, money can keep you interested. But it’s probably important to make sure you’re not just drunk on draft juice right now.

  2. barker says:
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    had a question about who to keep for the upcoming year its a 20 team head to head we keep 9

    7 no brainers kemp fielder lawrie verlander gallardo pineda matt moore

    other possibilities pick 2
    luebke cuddyer espinosa hart lind pagan sergio santos kenley jansen

    was thinking santos cuddyer or luebke

    i also have a trade that has to happen after the draft of my gallardo and pineda for his kershaw if that changes any picks for you

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @barker, I like Luebke & I’d take Hart over Cuddyer.

  3. ritzer says:
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    There are 4 still spaces in an RCL league. email Vinwins for an invite. vinreich@zoho.com
    The draft is tuesday evening.

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