A Look at the Notable Rays Hitting Prospects; Tim Beckham, Desmond Jennings, Hector Guevara, and More

That play on teams with 20+ games played to date.

Player Level Pos Age K% BB% ISO LgAge LgK% LgBB% LgISO
Matt Joyce AAA RF 24 24 12.6 0.227 27 20.5 8.3 0.132
Reid Brignac AAA SS 23 11.8 8.3 0.157 27 20.5 8.3 0.132
John Jaso AAA C 25 13 13.5 0.133 27 20.5 8.3 0.132
Desmond Jennings AA CF 22 11.6 9.9 0.165 25 20.5 9.6 0.125
Kyeong Kang A RF 21 23 8.1 0.177 22 23.2 7.8 0.114
Timothy Beckham A SS 19 22.1 7.5 0.135 22 23.2 7.8 0.114
Hector Guevara VSL SS 17 11.6 6.9 0.209 18 20.4 8.7 0.12

Individual analysis after the jump.

Matt Joyce Pos: RF, Age: 24, B: L, T: R, Acquired: Trade

I've talked to death about this guy.  His power is magnificent, he walks, and yeah he strikes out, but he's major league ready. The Rays have to carefully manage his service time thanks to Detroit. Right now, his service time is close to and probably over 130 days. That gives the Rays about 50 days to play around with from here on out, if they can stay under that threshold, they keep Joyce for an additional year. Otherwise, you may see Joyce stay in Triple-A for the overdrawn days to start next season. The Rays shouldn't need him given the Gabes performance.

Reid Brignac Pos: SS, Age: 23, B: L, T: R, Acquired: Draft (2004, 2nd Round)

He's still young for the International League, and he's striking out a lot less while walking about league average. The power displayed from his shortstop position is pretty nice as well. Brignac's short major league stint should help silence the crowd suggesting he couldn't hit major league pitching. In 44 plate appearances against right-handed pitching, Brignac hit .357/.386/.524. Of course, he hit .059/.059/.059 in 17 against lefties.  Despite filling in a little last year and a bit this year, Brignac's service time is pretty manageable and the ~30-35 days accumulated to date can easily be navigated around if the need ever arises. Whether Brignac is a shortstop or a second baseman for the Rays at the next level, he's desirable to other teams as the former.

John Jaso Pos: C, Age: 25, B: L, T: R, Acquired: Draft (2003, 12th Round)

Allow me to go out on a limb and guess Jaso wasn't really focusing on his defense for the first month of the season. So far, he's allowed eight passed balls in 55 games. In 98 games last year, he allowed eight.  Jaso is still walking and making contact fine enough, but his bat doesn't exactly play up at another position.

Desmond Jennings Pos: CF, Age: 22, B: R, T: R, Acquired: Draft (2006, 10th Round)

I would have to guess Jennings is on the verge of a promotion. He's still walking better than league average, striking out nearly half less, showing more power, and playing a premium position. Maybe after the Futures Game is played Jennings can head to Durham. Otherwise, he's going to play blindfolded for a challenge.

Kyeong Kang Pos: RF, Age: 21, B: L, T: L, Acquired: Draft (2006, 15th Round)

He's a bit older than you would think, and everything minus the power is offensively average. He's a left-handed bat, but doesn't have a huge platoon split to speak of.

Tim Beckham Pos: SS, Age: 19, B: R, T: R, Acquired: Draft (2008, 1st Round)

Three years younger than league average, and he's striking out and walking at average clips while displaying more power than most of the league's populous. I'm not sure how anyone can be down on this guy right now. Yes, he's made errors, but the bat is nice. Here's a comparison for fun:

Beckham (19): .283/.342/.417

League average: .254/.322/.368

Justin Upton (18): .263/.343/.413

League average: .253/.325/.365

No, he's not Justin Upton, but nobody else is either. Nothing Beckham has or has not done to date should turn you against the pick.  Things could be a lot worse.

Hector Guevara Pos: SS, Age: 17, B: R, T: R, Acquired: International Free Agent (2008)

Finally we reach the final hitting prospect worth noting to date. He's only 17-years-old and he plays in the Venezuelan Summer League. I don't know much about him other than he's hitting a lot better than most 17-year-olds would at any level of professional ball. There definitely appears to be some power potential there.

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