Monday, November 8, 2010

Baseball America's Top 10 Rays Prospects

Here they are (subscribers can view complete reports):

1. Jeremy Hellickson, rhp (4th round, 118th overall, high school, 2005 draft)
Featuring a dynamic repertoire, Hellickson throws four pitches for strikes and does a great job of getting ahead in the count with his outstanding fastball command. He keeps his four-seam fastball down in the zone, sitting at 91-92 mph and touching 95. His best pitch is a low-80s changeup, which he has added depth to over the past two years, giving him a formidable weapon against lefthanders.
2. Matt Moore, lhp (8th/245th/high school/2007)
Moore has an electric arm with hard, late life on his 92-96 mph fastball. He has an easy arm action and uses the same stroke to throw a late-breaking curveball that dives on hitters. His changeup also has the makings of a plus pitch, though he needs to throw it more often.
3. Desmond Jennings, of (10th/289th/community college/2006)
With his speed and disciplined approach, he should hit for a high average and get on base at a good clip. While the wrist injury affected his power, Jennings drives the ball well and could hit 15 homers per year.
4. Jake McGee, lhp (5th/135th/high school/2004)
He generates tremendous late action on his fastball, which jumped to 92-95 mph and peaked at 97 when he moved to the bullpen at midseason. His breaking ball is a power curve that becomes slurvy when he gets under it. His changeup has the potential to be at least an average pitch.
5. Josh Sale, of (1st/17th/high school/2010)
The top prep power hitter in the 2010 draft, Sale projects as a significant run producer and a corner outfielder. He generates incredible bat speed and shows a great feel for the strike zone while employing a patient approach.
6. Alex Torres, lhp (trade from LAA in Scott Kazmir deal, Venezuelan free agent signed 1/10/05 by LAA)
Torres has a strong lower half that helps him produce lively stuff. His low-90s fastball has outstanding movement, and his changeup is just as effective.
7. Alex Colome, rhp (Dominican Republic free agent signed 3/20/07 by Rays)
Colome's live arm rivals that of anyone in the system. His 91-93 mph fastball touches 96 and features natural sink as well as armside run. He also throws a tight 11-to-5 curveball that has the makings of a plus pitch.
8. Justin O'Conner, c (1st/31st/high school/2010)
Though he struggled at the plate in his pro debut, O'Conner's well above-average raw power was still evident. He has tremendous bat speed and can drive the ball to all fields, though he gets pull-happy during games. He doesn't project as a high-average hitter and may need to shorten his swing to make more consistent contact.
9. Drew Vettleson, of (1stSupp/42nd/high school/2010)
A shortstop/center fielder/pitcher in high school, Vettleson profiles as a corner outfielder with the ability to hit for power and average. He has a quiet approach from the left side of the plate, with good patience and pitch recognition.
10. Jake Thompson, rhp (2nd/66th/college/2010)
Thompson has the stuff, frame and mound presence to eat up innings in the middle of a big league rotation. His fastball usually sits at 92-94 mph and touched 97 during his debut. He picked up a mid-80s slider during the spring at Long Beach State, and it showed more consistency and peaked in the upper-80s in pro ball.

Four of the top 10 were 2010 draft picks (and I thought my list had too many from the June draft). Other than 8-10, no real surprises from BA. Thoughts?

Updated to add, here is Bill Ballew's chat about the list (may be insider, can't tell since I'm logged in).


  1. Any way you can post some parts of the scouting reports?

  2. BA certainly don't shy away from rating highly on potential rather than allowing for proof in the minors first. I can't say that I agree with having O'Conner and Vettleson ranked so highly straight away, but I suppose that is due to my preference in seeing some evidence as a professional first.

  3. I agree, but with the position players there just isn't much to choose from. To me, Cobb - Barnese - Cruz would be a better 8-10, but Thompson isn't a terrible choice, he pitched some and did well.

    From 2010, Brett 3rd and Dietrich 2nd at least played, and well.

    Guess we'll have to wait to see the rest of the Top 30 when the book comes out to really judge their list overall. Hopefully no Mayo Acosta-type picks :).

  4. I may have put Enny Romero in the 10th spot,moved Thompson up to 9th, and dropped Vettleson.

  5. Romero isn't a bad choice, but I'd put him in the teens (and imagine BA will also).

    For position players, clearly Jennings is at the top, then I'm ok with Sale from what I've read. But Bortnick will be 3rd for me, performance does count for something. And he was a 16th round pick, playing at 22 in A and A+ in the MI. After that I imagine I'll have Vettleson over O'Conner for 4th. Not sure on 5th yet.

  6. Geo had to go and pop the cork on the Beckham bottle. I'm not sure he'll make our top 10 position players, let alone any top 10 overalls. With all of the pitching talent in the org, I'd expect to see him somewhere in the late teens or 20s (later the better to me).

  7. Bortnick will start next year at AA, right? If he wants to make the majors, he has to.

    Doug, do you have the BA subscription to tell us the scouting reports?

  8. Bortnick will start at A+ for the Stone Crabs next year.

  9. anderson and wrigley will platoon at AAA

  10. Updated to include some snippets from the scouting reports.

  11. Any predictions where the top 2010 draftees will start next season?


  12. Sale at BG
    O'Conner at BG
    Vettleson at HV
    Thompson at Charlotte

  13. Enny Romero is # 11 according to the Baseball America chat this afternoon. I was close. Like I said earlier, I would've put him at # 10.

  14. No way the Rays rush Sale and O'connor to Bowling Green. All high school draftees from this draft will start at Princeton next season. The only reason Beckham started at BG was because he signed early and played most of the Princeton season, and he was the #1 pick overall.

    And Thompson and Colome over Barnese? I like Thompson and can partly understand, but I don't get the Colome love. Yeah he has good stuff, but it has not translated much to results. For his stuff and age, he should have totally dominated A ball. Maybe there was an injury we I didn't know about?

  15. This is the Rays. No way sale or o'conner start in bg

  16. I could totally see Sale in BG. He had a better bat than Beckham did.

  17. Regarding Sale:

    I know the Rays are very cautious with their HS pics, but no HS pick was every said to already have such a sound approach at the plate. So, I can totally see Sale in BG in '11 as I think the Rays just look at the way a guy is hitting right now and how far his development is first.

    That said, I think O'Connor (PRI?), Bailey (PRI), Malm (PRI), Glaesmann (HDV/PRI), Vettleson (PRI), Kiermaier (HDV), Guevara (PRI), Brett (HDV) and Perez (GCL/PRI) will be in Short Season Ball as their approaches at the plate weren't sound or as they haven't played professionally yet. My guessed affiliates are in brackets.

  18. The Rays are ultra-conservative in player development. Last year they said how Malm had such an advanced approach at the plate and he struggled big time at Princeton. Sale hasn't played a single inning yet and it's highly unlikely that they will have him make the adjustment to the professional game by rushing him to full season. That's not the way the Rays do it.