Saturday, April 7, 2012

2012 season outlook: Bowling Green Hot Rods

The minor league rosters are (nearly) set, which makes it about time to talk about the 2012 outlook for each of the Rays full season affiliations. Therefore, I've graded each roster part (rotation, bullpen, catching, infield, outfield) on a scale from A (best) to F (worst). Fourth and last in-line are the Bowling Green Hot Rods (check our depth chart for the current roster). Feel free to share your thoughts about the outlook in the comment section.

Rotation (Grade: B-)

Despite potential candidates like Jeff Ames or Matt Spann not making the jump to full season ball, the rotation in Bowling Green is stacked. Jake Floethe, Felipe Rivero, Parker Markel, Ryan Carpenter, Roberto Gomez (these 5 form the rotation at the start of the season), Andrew Bellatti and Jason McEachern make at least 7 viable candidates for a starting pitching gig. Especially Parker Markel, Ryan Carpenter and Felipe Rivero could emerge as new top-pitching prospects in the Rays system.

Bullpen (Grade: D)

Next to Austin Hubbard (whom I'm very surprised not to see on Port Charlotte's roster) and Andrew Bellatti I don't see anybody dominating in '12. Charlie Cononie was excellent with the Renegades, though, and Jacob Partridge could profit from a move to the pen. Overall, though, this group seems to be average at best. By the way: Did I miss it, or what happened to David Kubiak?

Catching (Grade: C)

Despite Justin O'Connor and Jake DePew expectadly staying in XST, the catching group in Bowling Green is one to look out for. Matt Rice played very solid upon being drafted and adds leadership to the Hot Rods team. International prospect Alejandro Segovia is slated in behind Rice. Segovia, who dominated in the Liga Paralela this off-season, is a very interesting prospect to follow.

Infield (Grade: A-)

The Hot Rods infield is the one with the highest upside in the Rays minor league organisation. It's filled with high '11 draft picks (Tyler Goeddel and Jake Hager), two excellent '11 mid-round picks (Cameron Seitzer and Taylor Motter) as well as one early round draft pick each of the '10 (Ryan Brett) '09 (Jeff Malm) draft and international signee Juniel Querecuto. The combination of long-term upside as well as present skill in this group is excellent. And while most of the players are more in one of these corners, Ryan Brett is a great example of a prospect who, despite his young age, already has transformed lots of his "stuff/projectability" into skills.

Outfield (Grade: B+)

I nearly like the Hot Rods' outfield as much as their infield. Todd Glaesmann, Kes Carter and especially Drew Vettleson are very interesting prospects to follow in the coming years. All three, more or less, project as quality corner outfielders with above average power and solid speed. And while Kes Carter could even develop into a solid center fielder, Drew Vettleson is the prospect with the highest upside of this group.

Overall (Grade: B)

The Hot Rods' roster is full with projectable, high-end prospects. Therefore, nearly everybody raves about this roster. The lack of much pro-experience for some of these prospects, however, makes me think that the start of the season could be difficult for this team (especially for the offense). But, I expect the in-season progress of this roster to be remarkable. I see this team, barring roster changes, play on a much higher level at the end of the season than at the beginning.


  1. 2 games and no earned runs and the boys are crushing the ball! Defense is strong and the bullpen is not a D- its an B+ or higher! You just keep slighting people not on your list of top prospects! Floethe and Gomez are excellent! Floethe 89-93 sinker with 2 very good off speed pitches and he pounds the zone, Gomez 90-94 with a great change and a good slow curve Starting pitching A. This starting 5 won't be together long maybe Partridge is going to be great out of the pen! @ legit closers! Catchers are doing just fine both have good hands and good arms! B

  2. Mostly agreed. The bullpen will be fine. IMO, this is easily the best team in the system in terms of prospects. If they stay together and healthy, they are going to be tough to handle. In fact there are too many good position players here. Going to be tough competition just to get into the lineup each night.

  3. After watching the Hot Rods in their first 3 games the thing that sticks out is the lack of power and timely hitting. I got spoiled last year watching Dietrich and Wunderlich pound the ball. From what I have seen in this first series is that the Hot Rods are going to struggle to score runs this year. Hopefully that will change when the weather warms up.

  4. Just looked at the BG roster....5 COACHES!!!!!! Never seen that before. DeMent is supposed to go to Hudson Valley when the season starts in June, and I'm not sure if/where Moloney goes. But, why isn't DeMent at Extended so he can work with the guys he'll be coaching? Is this a new trend?

  5. DeMent and Lichtenstein are not in Bowling Green. Lichtenstein is the pitching coach at Montgomery. Somebody is dropping the ball on updating rosters.

  6. Yeah, not sure what that comment was about. The coaching staffs are listed on our right sidebar for each team. What they list on isn't necessarily correct. Even some of the press releases for opening day rosters had those wrong. I think our sidebar is correct, if anyone sees a mistake, let me know.