BaseballAmerica's South Atlantic League top 20 prospects list is out, and three Rays made the cut: LHP Matt Moore at #2, shortstop Tim Beckham at #5, and RHP Nick Barnese at #16. The list and a small write-up is free, but the scouting reports are insider-only. Here's a little taste:
#3 LHP Matt Moore
Moore has two above-average pitches, an 89-92 mph fastball that touches 94 and a tight 82-84 mph curveball with late depth. He has a deceptive fastball that jumps up on people and gets bad swings. He also throws a changeup with late screwball-like action. His three-pitch repertoire yielded a league-leading 176 strikeouts in 123 innings.
#5 SS Tim Beckham
At the plate, Beckham stays back on the ball, uses his legs well and takes advantage of offspeed pitches up in the zone. With his plus bat speed and strong wrists, he projects to hit .300 with 20 home runs in the big leagues. He's a solid-average runner with good instincts, but not a basestealer.
#16 Nick Barnese
Barnese is slow and deliberate through his windup, bringing his hands over his head and taking his time to get to his balance point. Once he's there, he explodes toward the plate and pops an 89-92 mph fastball that touches 93 and has late run. His 80-82 mph changeup and 77-81 mph curveball can be plus pitches at times, but they're still works in progress.
To me, the .300/20 homerun projection for Beckham is being very generous. He'll certainly have to improve on his pitch recognition to have a chance at that. As for Moore, he evidently (intentionally) dialed back his fastball this season to command it better. It'll be interesting going forward to see if he ramps it back up while still commanding it. That would turn it from an above-average pitch flashing plus to a plus pitching flashing plus-plus. His curveball is still his knockout pitch, though.