Like Doug and Kevin I'm also presenting my mid-season personal top 30 prospect list. Here is my list with one or two additional comments to each player. Further explanation of my picks can be found at the bottom. Let me know what you think of it. Who is way off?
- Moore, Matthew (AA) ... The hands down best LHP-prospect in the minors.
- Jennings, Desmond (AAA) ... Very solid season. Should be up in the majors after super-two status expires.
- Lee, Hak-Ju (A+) ... A complete player. Only HR power is below average.
- Sale, Josh (XST) ... Moving up on without playing because Archer (4th pre-season) and McGee (5th) struggle.
- Colome, Alex (A+) ... Very solid after bad start to the season. Great at times.
- Cobb, Alex (AAA) ... Continuous to impress.
- Archer, Chris (AA) ... Struggles heavily with his control. Also way too hitable.
- Beckham, Tim (AA) ... Putting more and more tools into play. Took a step forward at every level.
- Morrison, Ty (XST/A+) ... Was glad to see him on Jims pics. I like him very much.
- Romero, Enny (A) ... Huge control problems are the "only" thing holding him back.
- McGee, Jacob (AAA) ... If velocity and confidence come back and if he develops his slider he should be fine. Otherwise ...
- Guyer, Brandon (AAA) ... MLB ready. Has power and hitability. Plate discipline still a big concern.
- Torres, Alexander (AAA) ... Cooled off after a strong start. Command still a concern. Future reliever?
- Bailey, Lucas (A) ... I'm a believer. SO's are big problem, though.
- O'Conner, Justin (XST) ... Above average bat from behind the plate. Was a personal favourite of mine in the '10 draft.
- Glaesmann, Todd (A) ... Tools have come alive lately. Like Bailey, strikes out way too much, though.
- Vettleson, Drew (XST) ... Potential mid-of-the-order bat.
- Dietrich, Derek (A) ... Shows power and contact. Plate discipline questionable. Enough power for 3B?
- Suarez, Albert (DL) ... Reportedly looked very strong in spring training. Future workhorse? Hurt since (knee).
- Barnese, Nick (AA) ... Looks more and more like a future reliever.
- Bortnick, Tyler (A+) ... Very solid across the board. Exceptional plate discipline. Not much power.
- Cruz, Joseph (AA) ... Improved his control lately. Otherwise worst results in system. I've always liked him, though.
- Thompson, Jacob (A+) ... I have him lower than most. I see his FB/SL combo being best suited for the pen.
- Rodriguez, Wilking (DL) ... Future reliever with FB/CU combo or a #3 starter?
- Kendall, Ian (XST) ... One of the developable prep pitchers the Rays love to draft. Mid 90s FB.
- Brett, Ryan (XST) ... Simply a ballplayer. Can become solid across the board with very good quickness.
- Lobaton, Jose (AAA) ... Should be in the majors right now over Kelly Shoppach. Solid backup C in my mind.
- Shuman, Scott (A+) ... Control problems. Has stuff to shut down opponents at the end of games.
- Lara, Braulio (A) ... Can he develop his offspead pitches enough in order to complement his mid 90s FB?
- Chirinos, Robinson (AAA) ... Power not there (yet). Though, able to get on base, lately.
ADD Gomes, Brandon (AAA) ... Can hold his own in the majors right now. Stuff is not eyepopping, though.
ADD Hahn, Jesse (DL) ... Exceptional potential with mid to upper 90s heat and great curve. Out for (most of) '11 (TJS)
ADD Lobstein, Kyle (A+) ... Very pretty results. Does he have enough stuff for the upper levels?
ADD Perez, Cesar (XST) ... Huge power bat. Struggled heavily in GCL last year.
ADD Araujo, Yoel (DSL Rays) ... Tools, tools, tools.
- 1-3: After Jeremy Hellickson graduating there is a new top 3 of the system. Hak-Ju Lee's extraordinary well season earns himself a spot behind the best left handed minor league pitcher (Moore) and the completest Rays hitting prospect in years (Jennings).
- 4-7: After these 3 there is a slight drop-off. Josh Sale, Chris Archer and Alex Colome have very high ceilings. The not pretty results of Chris Archer and the inconsistency of Alex Colome make me rank Josh Sale ahead of them. Alex Cobb has a lower ceiling but by far the highest floor of these 4. He is MLB ready.
- 8-13: This group of prospects was by far the hardest to rank for me. To start, I was not very sure where to place Jake McGee. He has closer ceiling but is way off right now. He ended up being the 11th best prospect on my list. I also wasn't sure where to place Alex Torres. Right now (with the shaky command) he looks like a future reliever. But this can change over the next months. I'm maybe a bit too agressive with Tim Beckhams' rank but he has been developing at every level and has the tools for an above average major leaguer. I simply don't see him ranked lower than any guy behind him right now.
- 14-18: Ranks 14-18 are claimed by the high ceiling positional player prospects. Bailey is ranked there first because I simply like him. Derek Dietrich seems to have the lowest ceiling of these 5 while having the best track record. They are more or less interchangeable.
- 19-24: The next 6 picks (19-23) then are a bunch of pitchers and Tyler Bortnick. All of the pitchers have legitimate question marks. Especially injuries (Suarez, Thompson, Rodriguez) and slowly developing secondary pitches (Cruz, Barnese, Thompson) are holding back their prospect status. Tyler Bortnick is making most out of his tools. I am very impressed with his play.
- 25-26: The picks 25-26 are some of my personal favorites. Ian Kendall is the prototype of a Rays pitching prospect. He could end up as a #2 starter. Ryan Brett reminds me a bit of Dustin Pedroia. He is a ballplayer.
- 27-30: Pick 27-30 are more or less interchangeable also with 5 players who just barely missed the list (Brandon Gomes, Jesse Hahn, Kyle Lobstein, Cesar Perez and Yoel Araujo). I put them on because they have at least some positive track record (other than Hahn, Perez and Araujo) and/or a bit of a higher ceiling than Brandon Gomes. I'm really impressed by Kyle Lobstein this year. I just want to see him pitching above A+ first.