Friday, March 19, 2010

RaysProspects 2010 Predictions: Wildcard Prediction

To wrap up our series, our panel of bloggers could predict... whatever they felt like predicting. The floor was wide open.

Cork Gaines: The Rays would love for a top pitching prospect to make the jump to the big leagues and help in the bullpen in September in the same way David Price did in 2008. Most think that will be Jeremy Hellickson. I predict that it will be Jake McGee and there is a good chance Hellickson does not make his big league debut until 2011.

Tommy Rancel: I think Jake McGee is a wildcard, not only for the minor leagues, but the big leagues as well. The plan is to build up his arm strength as a starter for the first few months, but after that it's anyones guess. If he proves that his arm is 100%, I would expect his transition to short relief to start in the mid-summer with an eye on a September call-up.

FreeZorilla: Durham will run wild over the International League. Tim Beckham will survive another season at SS with meaningful offensive and defensive improvements.

Ricky: The acquired players from the Scott Kazmir trade will all have excellent seasons (Sean Rodriguez, Matt Sweeney, and Alexander Torres).

Jason Collette: Matt Moore will either lead the 2011 prospect list or drop off it if he can't get his walk rate under control.

Jake Larsen: 5. Matt Sweeney will become Carlos Pena's "heir apparent" for the 2011 season despite the signing of JJ Ruiz.(note: this was written before the Rays signed Leslie Anderson, so Jake had signing a Cuban 1B correct, just the wrong one. -Kevin)

Doug Milhoan: Selected by the Rays out of Gulf Shores High School (AL) in the 11th round of the 2007 draft, outfielder D.J. Jones was ranked by Baseball America as the Rays #30 prospect in 2008. The ranking was primarily based on his tools and athleticism. In 2009 for Hudson Valley he started off slowly in June (.095/.095/.143), began to lose playing time, and continued to struggle into July (.154/.170/.173). But something clicked in August, the goundballs and popups turned into line drives (16.7 LD%) and his overall line improved to .364/.391/.545. His defense has never been an issue, playing primarily in left and right with a strong arm and great range. The 22 year-old should start this season at Bowling Green. Just a hunch, but I think he'll continue his success from the end of last season, turning his tools into results, and jump back onto the prospect radar.

Kevin Gengler: Next off-season, we'll be talking about Matt Bush as a potential set-up man or closer for late 2011 and beyond... Is everyone done laughing? He hasn't pitched in two years thanks to Tommy John surgery and being cut by the Blue Jays for violating their behavior policy, but his stuff, while raw, was legitimately really good before the surgery and I think it'll be back. He'll have a nice year out of the bullpen, probably starting at Bowling Green.


  1. Just wanted to provide a congrats to all for this fun series. Hope that FreeZorilla hasn't jinxed my Bulls (but you gotta admit that, barring trades, the Bulls look really, really good this year).

  2. What about the Murrill kid from hudson valley? He had a great season and has some great tools to go along with his game. I am ready to see if he can repeat. I think DJ Jones will have a break out season for himself as well

  3. I agree with the other Anonymous about Chris Murill. He's a very solid player, and a great base stealer. Chris did a great job for us up in the Hudson Valley. I'm not as optimistic about Jones, though. Time will tell.

  4. Remember on Jones, he should start the season at BG. If he hadn't signed in 2007 and went to Auburn, and the Rays drafted him again this June, he'd be headed to HV. So even though he's struggled a bit, he's still further along than if he'd gone to college.

    And I didn't mean to imply he was better or worse than Murrill or anyone else for that matter. Just a guy who was on the prospect radar, has fallen off, and I think could get back on. Not a slam on anyone else.

    You make a good point about Murrill though, nice season. Digging into his numbers you'll find some interesting things. His LD% is low, only 9.2% for the season. Not much power, but started stong, finished strong, and wasn't bad in June or July either. He actually hit lefties better than righties, interesting for a LH batter. Here's what stands out to me: high GB% (64%), but he managed to bat .400 (34-85, all singles). What is he, Carl Lewis? I'm not sure that's sustainable as he moves up.

    Will definitely add him to the 'guys to keep an eye on this season' list. Thanks for reminding me about him.

  5. I was just wanting to comment on the Murrill debate. I was looking at his numbers and I am waiting to see him develop as a hitter. After watching him play last year in the hudson valley I know why he had some many singles. The Carl Lewis thing is funny because, you have to see this kid run. I am just a fan who has watched the renegades for a a few years and I have not seen anyone come through as fast as he is.
    Also to comment on DJ Jones. His second half last year seemed like he couldnt get out.
    I am ready to see Brett Nommenson have a full year and see if he can live up to the hype around him when he got drafted. His batting average in collge was like somtething out of a movie. Just a few thoughts I was pondering.