Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh, The Places They'll Go

Here's an early, early look at the 2010 affiliate rosters. It's tough to tell which guys will be let go or signed as minor-league free agents at this point, so I've only included prospects and fringe-prospects, meaning some positions aren't listed.

Durham Bulls
Catcher: John Jaso or Jose Lobaton - Both are on the 40-man roster, but neither figures to make Tampa Bay's roster.
Second base: Elliot Johnson
Shortstop: Reid Brignac - Rays will probably look to move either Brignac or Bartlett in the off-season.
Left Field: Justin Ruggiano
Centerfield: Desmond Jennings - If he hits as well as he did in 2009, he won't be in Durham for long.

Pitchers: Jeremy Hellickson and Heath Rollins

Notable absences: Sean Rodriguez, Matt Joyce, and Wade Davis all have inside tracks toward major-league jobs, while Mitch Talbot is out of options.

Montgomery Biscuits
Catcher: Nevin Ashley
Corner infield: Matt Sweeney
Middle infield: Shawn O'Malley - He's seen time at both SS and 2B in the Arizona Fall League, could play both in 2010 with the Biscuits.
Utility: Cody Cipriano - Ended the 2009 season in Montgomery; has worked as an infielder and outfielder.

Pitchers: Jake McGee, David Newmann, Alex Cobb, Alex Torres, Aneury Rodriguez, and Matt Gorgen

Charlotte Stone Crabs
Catcher: Jake Jefferies
First Base: Mike Sheridan - Tough 2009 season, but should get the promotion.
Shortstop: Tim Beckham - The next step up.
Outfield: Kyeong Kang - Finished the 2009 season very strongly; a big 2010 would establish himself as a real prospect.

Pitchers: Matt Moore, Nick Barnese, Joseph Cruz, Shane Dyer, Chris Andujar, Marquis Fleming

Bowling Green Hot Rods
Shortstop: Tyler Bortnick
Outfield: Brett Nommensen and Chris Murrill

Pitchers: Kyle Lobstein, Alex Colome, Jason McEachern, Zach Quate, Scott Shuman

As you can tell, it gets murkier the lower down you go. Projecting the short-seasons would be nearly impossible, as much of that depends on how players perform in extended spring training. Durham looks to be a relatively unexciting team prospect-wise outside of Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson, but the complement of veteran players should make for another relatively successful season. Jennings and Hellickson are on track for major-league roles by the end of the season, so the Durham roster could be pretty barren late in the year.

Montgomery really lacked in the prospect department when Jennings and Hellickson were promoted to Durham, but they should inherit much of the Charlotte Stone Crabs' 2009 pitching staff that got the Crabs within a game of winning the Florida State title. Jake McGee could skip over Montgomery and slide into Durham's bullpen with a strong spring. Even without McGee, the pitching of Alex Cobb, Alex Torres, David Newmann, and Aneury Rodriguez along with Matt Gorgen and Marquis Fleming in the bullpen should be strong. Rodriguez would be first in line for a promotion to Durham if he pitches well.

The Stone Crabs should have plenty in terms of "name" prospects, but that didn't necessarily equate to wins with Bowling Green last season. Matt Moore will headline the rotation while Nick Barnese will look to stay healthy for the season. Tim Beckham has a chance to quiet some of the critics, while Kyeong Kang could be primed for a breakout season.

Bowling Green should have a strong starting rotation for the second straight year. Kyle Lobstein and Alex Colome will certainly make the jump to full-season ball, but it remains to be seen how cautious the Rays will be with him. Unfortunately for the Hot Rods, they don't look to have the same caliber of hitting prospects that they had in 2009 with Beckham, Kang, etc. Zach Quate and Scott Shuman each had strong seasons of the bullpen in short-season ball in 2009. Quate could follow in Gorgen's footsteps and be skipped over low-A, while the reports on Shuman are positive enough that he could make the leap from Princeton to Bowling Green.

Projecting rosters is a wholly inexact science. If there's any players in particular you'd like to go more in-depth about, don't hesitate to leave a comment.


  1. what do you think they will do with jacob partridge from the gcl,looks like he had a great year there

  2. Where do you think Ryan Wiegand, Cody Rogers, and Julio Cedeno will play next year? Will they be in Hudson Valley or skip to Bowling Green?

  3. In regards to Partridge(and all the other GCL guys), it's nearly impossible to predict because this is the first year the Rays have had a GCL team since 1998. So I'm not sure if they'll consider the GCL and Princeton somewhat equal and bump Partridge to Hudson Valley(highly doubtful), or if they'll just assign him to Princeton. It also depends on how he does in extended spring training.

    Ryan Wiegand has the best shot at skipping over Hudson Valley since he was a college draftee. Cody Rogers was a junior college guy who hit really well, but he also struck out a lot. He could get a shot in Bowling Green, especially considering there's not much blocking his path. Julio Cedeno I would expect to be assigned to Hudson Valley.

  4. Did you mean that Quate could skip Bowling Green? You had Hudson Valley. If he follows Gorgen he would skip to Charlotte Stone Crabs.

  5. Darin Downs back in Monty? What about Satow? Will he follow Fleming to AA from Bowling Green?

  6. I did mean Bowling Green in regards to Quate, thanks for pointing that out.

    Darin Downs will probably find himself back in Montgomery, but with his injury I don't know if he'll be on the Opening Day roster. Satow certainly has a chance to move up to Montgomery, but he and Fleming barely pitched in Charlotte at the end of the year so they might get some more time there.

  7. If Talbot doesn't make the club out of ST next year, the Rays might try to move him in a trade, although he won't have much value because of his status and age.

    Maybe the Rays could couple him with Aki in a nice trade this winter. But they would have to pick up aki's option though.

  8. Suarez had Tommy John surgery, I would be surprised if he pitched for an affiliated team in 2010... I think the fall instructional league is the likely destination for his return. If he does come back on a quick schedule(Jake McGee came back about a year after his surgery) it'd probably be a quick stop in the GCL and then back to Hudson Valley.

  9. Where do guys like Glaesmann, Malm and James generally go?
    High picks from this year, but late signers with only instructs for experience.

  10. I would be shocked to see Aneury Rodriguez repeat AA. He pitched very well the 2nd half in the season, and probably will get a shot at AAA in Spring Training.

  11. Rodriguez did put up good second half numbers in Montgomery, And, depending on off season trades/acquisitions, there's two potential slots to be contended for. A host of rotation pitchers, including Aneury, should get that opportunity this spring. In addition, not knowing what our plans for Sonnanstine are makes Rodriguez 50/50 at best right now.

  12. I would guess Glaesmann et al would follow the Kyle Lobstein path and head to Hudson Valley next year.

  13. The Rays were agressive with Aneury last season, letting him start at AA at 21. Given his ERA (4.50) and FIP (4.69), along with a hard to repeat BABIP (.261), I think he'll start 2010 at Montgomery, with a possible mid-season promotion to Durham. As Gary said above though, it also depends a great deal on need, trades/aquisitions may force him up or down to start the year.

    Agree with Kevin on Suarez, hard to tell his timeframe due to medical uncertainty. I would think at some point he begins at GCL, from there, who knows.

  14. With Suarez, if he recovers like Jake McGee did (within a year), I would expect for him to head to the GCL Rays around July and if he pitches well after a couple short starts there, be moved back to the Renegades. That's how the Rays handled McGee's situation last year, because with the GCL, you can afford to have him only pitch to a couple batters to start the game and then move to another starters, as it really isn't a competitive league at all.

  15. If Bortnick continues his good production from last season, when do you think he will get the call to Charlotte?And is there any chance he is moved back to second?

  16. hey you know whats funny? I always thought questions were asked to get answered(even if the person answering doesnt have a good answer),but I guess I was wrong, they are just meant to sit there. 6 days later and still no answer.

  17. Sorry, it may have gotten bumped off the "recent comments" part on the right rather quickly and we just missed it.

    I think Bortnick will start out at Bowling Green but if he hits as well as he did in Hudson Valley, he certainly could get the promotion to Charlotte. One measure rated him as the best college defensive shortstop his sophomore year, so if he can play a passable shortstop, he'll stay there. The only circumstance where he would move back to 2B is if he does in fact get promoted to Charlotte, where Tim Beckham will be the everyday SS.

  18. Does anyone know what players have been released by the Rays since the end of the season


    Those are the only ones that have been announced so far, I believe.