The Rays' 25th-rounder from a Tennessee high school in 2010, Spann followed up a promising debut in the GCL with a nice 2011 season at Princeton. The 6-7/185 lefty was 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA, striking out 61 and walking 18 in 63.1 innings. He also used his downhill plane to his advantage with a 1.76 GO/AO, and held opponents to a .239 average. While the Rays like to take it slow with prospects, Spann might be ready for full-season ball. He's a candidate for the Bowling Green rotation, along with:
Jason McEachern - 2008 high school draftee, pitched at Bowling Green/Hudson Valley
Ryan Carpenter - 2011 college draftee, pitched at Hudson Valley
Andrew Bellatti - 2009 high school draftee, pitched at Hudson Valley
Parker Markel - 2010 junior college draftee, pitched at Hudson Valley
Jacob Partridge - 2009 high school draftee, pitched at Hudson Valley
Jeff Ames - 2011 junior college draftee, pitched at Princeton
Felipe Rivero - 2008 international signee, pitched at Princeton
Brandon Henderson - 2010 high school draftee, pitched at Princeton
Taylor Guerrieri - 2011 high school draftee, did not debut
Grayson Garvin - 2011 college draftee, did not debut
It's a pretty crowded lot. McEachern deserves another shot at Bowling Green, unless his stuff is good enough to skip him, but he's struggled statistically above Hudson Valley. Carpenter and Grayson could both theoretically be skipped up to Charlotte as college guys. Markel is probably a lock for Bowling Green. I see the Rays taking it slowly with Taylor Guerrieri, starting him in extended spring training. Jeff Ames has a nice shot at the Hot Rods unless the Rays fast-track him as a reliever. Partridge and Bellatti seem to have pitched well enough to get their promotion, and it'd be unusual to hold them back in short-season another year. Brandon Henderson will likely follow the Bellatti/Partridge track and pitch at Hudson Valley; he wasn't as good statistically as Spann.
How do you see it shaping up?