(Sorry this is late. Since Kevin and BurGi have already posted their lists I'll keep my comments brief. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.)
There are 10 teams and over 300 players in the Rays organization. These Top 30 lists do not mean we dislike over 90% of those players. There are only 30 available spots, and the difference between players ranked in the late 20's and early 30's (for example) is miniscule.
For these lists we attempt to balance the potential future value to the organization against the likelihood of achieving that potential. To do that we consider several factors: pro stats, amateur stats, scouting reports, age, physical size, injury history, draft round, makeup issues, and so on. Different factors count more for different players. For younger players their draft round, amateur stats and scouting reports usually carry more weight, while for older players pro stats and injury history are more relevant. In the end these are just opinions, so here are mine.
1. Matt Moore (LHP, 22.0, Montgomery) – Up from #2 in November, easiest pick, performance plus high ceiling, avoided usual slow start with a lower walk rate while maintaining high K/9 and low H/9, no health issues, only question is when he's promoted to Durham.
2. Alex Cobb (RHP, 23.6, Tampa Bay) – Up from #4, performance over ceiling because lacks height and top velocity, without any hype (other than us) just continues to move up and succeed level after level year after year, I'm higher on him than most, but he hasn't given me a reason to stop, didn't expect him to pitch this well at AAA or to reach MLB this year but so far so good, no blister issues this year.
3. Hak-Ju Lee (SS, 20.6, Charlotte) – Incredible Rays org debut in 2011, great tools except for power, defensive issues (mostly throwing) have been described as “lack of concentration” which doesn't always improve over time, defense only issue to watch, only injury history had TJS after signing with Cubs.
4. Desmond Jennings (OF, 24.6, Durham) – Down from #3, Mr. Tools seems like he's been top 5 forever, power back this year from 2010 (wrist), 8 homers so far in ~ 1/3 of season is only 3 off career high for entire season, SO% is up this year too, long injury history is always a concern with him, only question is when he's called up.
5. Alex Colome (RHP, 22.4, Charlotte) – Up from #6, ERA is up a run from 2010 but misleading, H/9 and HR/9 are down this year, BB/9 are same, SO/9 are down a bit, one bad outing (5/25: 1.2 IP, 8 ER) account for ERA, high ceiling, should move to Montgomery mid-season.
6. Alex Torres (LHP, 23.5, Durham) – Up from #7, lacks projection due to size but good velocity and movement, stats about the same as 2010 but walk rate up to 5.2/9, looks to be a reliever in the majors but I think he'll be well above average.
7. Jake Thompson (RHP, 21.8, Charlotte) – Up from #8, great debut in 2010, missed all of May with elbow which is a great concern for rest of season, stats are down this year across the board but he hasn't even pitched 20 innings yet.
8. Brandon Guyer (OF, 25.3, Durham) – Versatile defensively in OF, great offensive start in 2011, upside may be 4th OF but nearly/is MLB-ready, new to org so tough for me to slot.
9. Jake McGee (LHP, 24.8, Durham) – Down from #5, in an org with less SP he'd be in back end of MLB rotation, as it is we get Sonnanstine while McGee's in Durham's pen, still should be a quality back-end reliever at some point, but I'm not happy with what the org has done with him since TJS, value is way down for no good reason.
10. Drew Vettleson (OF, 19.9) – Same at #10, hasn't played yet professionally.
11. Josh Sale (OF, 19.9) – Same at #11, hasn't played yet professionally.
12. Chris Archer (RHP, 22.7, Montgomery) – Tough to rank since new, struggling in repeat of AA with 12.0 H/9 and 5.0 BB/9, here based on scouting reports of plus stuff.
13. Nick Barnese (RHP, 22.4, Montgomery) – Down from #12, quietly moves up through the system each year with good results (if Cobb is Hellickson-lite, is Barnese Cobb-lite?), AA is a big challenge for pitchers, he's handled it so far with only an uptick in BB/9, nagging injury history is always a worry.
14. Tim Beckham (SS, 21.3 Montgomery) – Up from #20, maybe I was a little too tough on him last time, average and slugging are much improved this year but OBP is same as 2010, reports of improved defense, Lee pushing him from one level below should be a good thing.
15. Tyler Bortnick (2B, 23.9, Charlotte) – Down from #13, another performance over projection pick, power down a bit so far but OBP up, another .300 season with more walks than strikeouts, lots competition at 2B both above and below him.
16. Enny Romero (LHP, 20.4, Bowling Green) – Down from #14, stats worse across board so far except K/9 up, still mid-90s fastball for leftie, jumped Hudson Valley to be 2nd youngest on Hot Rods roster, not worried at all at this point.
17. Kyle Lobstein (LHP, 21.8, Charlotte) – Up from #21 last time, I'm much higher on him than most, has pitched well coming off DL, but injuries are a concern, little known fact: early on Rays considered him at #1 overall in 2008 draft (instead of Beckham and others).
18. Derek Dietrich (SS, 21.9 Bowling Green) – Up from #30, similar stats in almost identical plate appearances as last year except he's more than doubled HR's, will have to lower strikeout rate as he moves up but biggest question is whether he can stick at SS, most say no but we've heard that before (Beckham).
19. Justin O'Conner (C, 19.2) – Down from #16, hasn't played yet in 2011.
20. Wilking Rodriguez (RHP, 21.2, Bowling Green DL) – Down from #15, hasn't played in 2011 due to injury.
21. Albert Suarez (RHP, 21.6, Charlotte DL) – Down from #17, hasn't played in 2011 due to injury.
22. Luke Bailey (C, 20.2, Bowling Green) – Down from #19, has really cooled off after decent start, bad stats especially 44/9 SO/BB, but is a 20 year-old catcher in full-season ball so plenty of time to reach potential, has thrown out 42% of basestealers despite Billy Hamilton terrorizing him early on.
23. Stephen Vogt (C/1B/LF, 26.6, Montgomery) – Down from #22, another that has cooled off lately but Vogt still has solid numbers as usual, already one HR from career high, despite age still think he has a chance to be a backup C in MLB with his bat, 25% CS% so far (career low).
24. Ryan Brett (2B, 19.6) – Up from #25, hasn't played yet in 2011, had nice start in GCL in 2010, more of a gut pick, but has a lot of talent above him in the org at 2B.
25. Joseph Cruz (RHP, 22.9, Montgomery) – Down from #9, hasn't handled the AA challenge well at all, 14.4 H/9, 1.4 HR/9, 8.34 ERA, but pitchers sometimes hit the wall at AA, biggest fall on this list, still like size/arm, expect improvement.
26. Robby Price (2B/3B, 23.1, Bowling Green) – Hottest batter in May, primary 3Bman until Cedeno activated, lots of talent at 2B above/with/below him, adding 3B helps his versatility moving up but lacks power to be regular there, solid defensively at both positions, OBP machine.
27. C.J. Riefenhauser (LHP, 21.3, Bowling Green) – I wasn't very high on him when drafted due to college jumping around, but he's been great as a pro, through 10 starts this year has 2.77 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and only 2.6 BB/9 and 7.2 H/9, not as flashy as Romero but best Hot Rods pitcher by far to date.
28. Todd Glaesmann (OF, 20.6, Bowling Green) – Same at #28, makes list for tools only, SO and BB rates very disappointing, missed a few games recently with reported elbow tweak.
29. Ty Morrison (OF, 20.9, Charlotte DL) – Same at #29, hasn't played in 2011 due to injury.
30. Marquis Fleming (RHP, 24.7, Montgomery) – K/9 above 10 for 3rd straight year, walk rate creeping up but has allowed fewer than six hits per nine last two years, could join Rays pen sometime in 2012 if continues.
FYI, last cuts were 3B Russ Canzler (25.1, Durham) and RF Brett Nommensen (24.7, Charlotte).
Most of this was written Wednesday, but due to some things it wasn't finished until Saturday night. So some of the stats listed may be from Wednesday, which isn't a big deal. Other players may have had good or bad outings since, but the only one that could matter is Joe Cruz left a start with shoulder trouble since Wednesday. It may explain some of his troubles if it has been bothering him for a while, or it may be just one more thing in a bad year for him.ReplyDelete