[This list was sent to me by Michael, aka maniac29, aka maniac over at DRaysBay.com where he is conducting their Community Prospects List. Normally readers just post their own lists in the comments. But I felt that since Michael has been very active around here for a long time, and he clearly has put some thought and effort into this, that it was worthy of posting on the front page. It's quite a bit different from the lists posted by Kevin and I, so feel free to ask him about it in the Comments. And be nice... Doug]:
First of all, I would like to say thank you to Doug for allowing me to post this here. I am no scout. However, I have trained myself to be able to identify certain aspects of scouting well enough to produce a list. I watch as many games as I can and look into all the scouting reports. I would also like to say that I focus on potential a lot during my rankings. Without further ado, I present you with my 2011 Rays Top 30 prospects.
1. Jeremy Hellickson--Best prospect in baseball, nothing more to be said.
2. Matt Moore--His stuff blows me away, as do the results. Would not be surprised to see him as the best prospect in baseball next year.
3. Desmond Jennings--His ceiling is still the same for me (.310, .410,.470), but I am just more worried about the injuries.
4. Jake McGee--Originally, I had Torres above him, but then I switched it around. McGee has the dominant fastball which is really key. I would like for him to work on that slider so that he has four usable pitches. I won't discount him because the Rays have too many starters.
5. Alexander Torres--His results and stuff are both exciting. I believe he will be able to handle the number of innings. Should be in the rotation for the Rays in 2012, if not earlier.
6. Alex Colome--I know, you are probably wondering why Cobb isn't here yet. For me, I love big fastballs, which Colome has. His other pitches are raw, but again, I like their potential. I think he is underrated.
7. Jake Thompson--There is little not to like about him. He has a heavy fastball, good location, and durability. Upside might be the lowest yet, but he could turn into a 2nd starter. How quickly he reached A+ ball is also a testimony of the Rays belief in him.
8. Josh Sale--I wanted to fit him in before this, but Colome and Thompson both have experience. Could easily jump 7 or so spots with a good year next year. His bat was the best for a H.S. in the draft. His average defense shouldn't scare you as his bat can make up for it.
9. Nick Barnese--Although he doesn't have great velocity, his movement of his fastball is exceptional. The lower K rates don't both me. Pretty polished too, though the injuries are a concern.
10. Alex Cobb--Had to get him in the Top 10!
11. Tim Beckham--I am a believer. After a horrible first month, his bat wasn't bad at all. His defense is fine too from what I have seen.
12. Drew Vettleson--Love his bat and has an above average defensive ability. Just need to see him play....
13. Joe Cruz--He is very inconsistent with his stuff. I like his curve, but I am not too sure about anything else.
14. Luke Bailey--Aggressive? Definitely. But we will see next year, in his first year he should be fully healthy.
15. Justin O'Conner--I am not sure about him. Good defense and power, but can he hit for a high enough average?
16. Enny Romero--Stuff and results. Just need to see him at higher levels.
17. Wilking Rodriguez-- I just don't know about him. Most have him higher, but I am not too sure about his potential. I need to see more reports on him.
18. Scott Shuman--Who doesn't like a reliever with two plus pitches?
19. Jesse Hahn--If it wasn't for the injury, he would be number 5 for me. His stuff is dominant and he learned how to harness it this past year.
20. Ryan Brett--I believe in his bat, defense, and speed. I just can't seem to put him higher though.
21. Todd Glaesmann--I need to start seeing results. The Rays didn't put him in that advanced of a level and he didn't perform.
22. Hector Guevara--Wasn't overmatched, but wasn't good. I love the potential though.
23. Albert Saurez--I want to put him higher, but can't justify it. Next year should tell a lot about him. His stuff should be fully back.
24. Ty Morrison--Incredible Speed. I just need to see improvement in his bat. Power potential is there.
25. Stephen Vogt--Just can't ignore how well he hit.
26. Tyler Bortnick-- I personally feel the Rays are messing him up by promoting him so slowly. His bat is solid as is his defense.
27. Jeff Malm--Can anybody tell me what happened to this guy? I mean, the scouting reports were glowing after the draft. One said he can just flat out hit, and then he performs awfully. I have a hunch something else was wrong.
28. Matt Sweeney--Injuries are a major concern, since they have now dented his performance in AA. If he is healthy next year, he could jump twenty spots. There is no denial of his sweet swing, but he will need to prove he can hit. a move over to 1b should help him.
29. Kyle Lobstein--He really needs to add velocity. When he does, watch out.
30. Yoel Araujo-- Scouts had this to say about him, "Araujo has shown plus speed and good raw power in the Dominican Prospect League this spring. He may be more raw than the names above, but scouts like his upside." The only problem is that he was only 16 and has a long way to go. I look forward to seeing him progress.