Wednesday, June 24, 2009

GCL Rays: Players to Watch For

Here is a look at a few players to watch for on the Gulf Coast League Rays roster. I don't know much about most of these guys, so much of my evaluation is based on only their VSL/DSL stats, until I can see them in person this weekend.

Right fielder Ruben Contreras had a very solid year for the DSL Rays last season. He batted .259 with 2 home runs and 34 RBIs in 201 plate appearances (55 games). He also walked more than he struck out (40 walks to 38 strikeouts) and swiped 9 bases. He is listed as 6'2, 170, so there is some room to grow.

Second baseman Juan Cuello also had a solid 2008 for the DSL team, hitting .293 in 232 ABs. He didn't show much power but drove in 28 runs and stole 15 bases, getting caught 5 times. He is listed at 5'11, 170 and is only 19.

First baseman Hector Gomez is another one of those guys who hasn't shown much power, but has shown speed. He also came out of the DSL club, and posted a .234/4/28 line last year. He stole 13 bags and was only caught once. He needs to cut down on his strikeouts and errors to be successful in the United States. He is 6'2/187/21 years old.

Picher Victor Mateo had a very solid season for the DSL, pitching in 14 games (7 starts) and compiling a 4.07 ERA. He struck out 33 in 48.2 IP and although he allowed 35 runs, only 22 of them were earned.

Relief pitcher Jose Molina was 0-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 18 appearances for the DSL Rays. He struck out 26 in 33.2 IP. He is one of the youngest Rays, at only 18, so he could still add some height and bulk to his 5'11/160 lb frame.

Starting pitcher Jose Monegro was the "ace" for the DSL staff last year. Despite going just 2-4, he has a 2.94 ERA in 49 IP, only surrendering 16 earned runs. He isn't a high strikeout guy (24 last season) but has great control. His frame is at 6'2/175.

Shawn Smith is one of the few 2008 draft picks still in the GCL. He was a 9th round pick out of high school last year, and appeared in 8 games (1 start) for Princeton. He struggled, going 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA. He still needs to refine his control (3 wild pitches and 9 BB in 14 IP).

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