Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rays 9th Round Pick - 300th Overall: Matt Rice

First catcher taken this year by the Rays, Rice is a college guy from Western Kentucky, their second WKU pick (Kes Carter in the supplemental round). High make-up guy.

BaseballAmerica (rated #11 in Kentucky):
Matt Rice doesn't have outstanding tools and doesn't do much in orthodox fashion, but he got the job done as a hitter and catcher for four years at Western Kentucky. He has a spread-out stance and an uphill righthanded swing, with a knack for putting the barrel on the ball and making line-drive contact. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder has gap power and is the Hilltoppers' all-time leader in hits (309) and RBIs (223). His long release detracts from his average arm strength and his receiving skills are just decent, yet he keeps the running game in check and does a nice job of leading a pitching staff. Area scouts love his makeup, and one described him as a "low risk, high reward" prospect. An exceptional student, Rice carries a 4.0 grade-point average in mechanical engineering and was the baseball academic all-American of the year. He also was a Rhodes Scholar finalist in 2010, when the Yankees drafted him in the 50th round.

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