Back in January the Rays sent RHP Matt Garza, OF Fernando Perez and LHP Zach Rosscup to the Chicago Cubs for RHP Chris Archer, C Robinson Chirinos, SS Hak-Ju Lee, OF Sam Fuld and OF Brandon Guyer. Of the eight players, the least known is Rosscup, the Rays 28th round pick in the 2009 draft out of Chemeketa Community College in Salem, OR.
Rosscup put up a 2.68 ERA in 40.1 innings for the Princeton Rays in his professional debut in 2009. After some time with the GCL Rays, he had a 3.03 ERA in 35.2 innings while holding batters to a .205 average with the Hudson Valley Renegades in 2010. During his time with the Rays, Rosscup featured an average fastball with a variety of promising secondary pitches, including a curve, slider and changeup.
Following the trade, Rosscup was expected to begin 2011 with the Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League, but the Cubs instead skipped him a level to the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League. So far he has responded well to the challenge, posting a 3.38 ERA with nine strikeouts and three walks in 13.1 innings over three appearances (two starts). It's still early in his Cubs career, but with Rosscup turning 23 in June, the Cubs have given him an opportunity to face more age-appropriate competition in the FSL than the Rays likely would have offered this season.
Another former Rays prospect now pitching in high-A ball is RHP Tyree Hayes. He was drafted in the 8th round of the 2006 draft out of Tomball High School in Texas. Over five seasons in the Rays organization, the last two in the Bowling Green Hot Rods bullpen, Hayes posted a career record of 23-20 with a 4.03 ERA.
Following his release last December he signed with the Cincinnati Reds organization and began 2011 with the Bakersfield Blaze of the California League. Hayes is off to a rough start with a 7.94 ERA in 5.2 innings over four appearances with four strikeouts and four walks. Still only 22, it will be interesting to see if Hayes can rejuvenate his career this season while contending with the high-octane offenses of the Cal League.
The Blaze have a second ex-Rays pitcher in their bullpen, RHP Doug Salinas. Salinas only played one year in the Rays organization, back in 2009 as a reliever for the Hudson Valley Renegades. He was released following the season despite going 5-0 with a 2.61 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. Another 22 year-old, Salinas has struggled to a 7.11 ERA in seven appearances for Bakersfield this year, but has struck out ten batters in 6.1 innings.
Well, that's all I have on 22 year-old former Rays pitchers now in high-A ball for other organizations. Hope the bunny brought you plenty of candy.