Most Exciting Affiliate for 2012: Princeton

The Durham Bulls could have (*sigh*) Matt Moore and Tim Beckham. Montgomery will feature Hak-Ju Lee and Alex Colome. Charlotte could boast Enny Romero and Derek Dietrich and Bowling Green should have Drew Vettleson and Parker Markel. But the affiliate I'm looking forward to the most for 2012 is rookie-level Princeton. Thanks to the huge 2011 draft haul, their roster projects to be interesting prospects nearly top-to-bottom. Check out this (very, very, insanely early) projection, which of course could look nothing like this if the Rays are more aggressive with some picks:

C Oscar Hernandez - The Rays last big Venezuelan sensation, Hector Guevara, skipped the GCL and debuted in the States with Princeton. And Hernandez's VSL numbers dwarf Guevara's.

1B John Alexander - Big (6-5/200), athletic (was a talented volleyball player in high school) first baseman was the Rays' 8th round pick back in June and hit two home runs in 12 games with the GCL Rays.

2B Julian Morillo - He's underwhelmed to say the least with a .206 batting average in two years with the GCL Rays, but he did command a six-figure bonus as a 16-year-old.

SS Jake Hager/Brandon Martin - It's likely the Rays split the 32nd and 38th overall picks up so each can play every day, the only question is if Hager plays with Hudson Valley (and Martin in Princeton) or Princeton (and Martin in the GCL), with a small chance Hager makes it to Bowling Green.

3B Tyler Goeddel - His $1.5 million signing bonus trailed only Taylor Guerrieri's of the Rays' 2011 draftees. Cesar Perez, who got $1 million himself, has hit .418 in two GCL seasons and is ready to be challenged and could split time with Goeddel. Wait... that's a .418 OPS in two seasons. Nevermind.

LF Johnny Eierman - He has the speed to handle center but defers to James Harris and his arm isn't as good as Granden Goetzman's. But he might be the best hitter of the trio.

CF James Harris - There's a chance, because of his rawness, he repeats the GCL where he hit just .165 in his debut.

RF Granden Goetzman - Drew comparisons to Jayson Werth and Jay Buhner in the spring, but battled injuries and never got on track in the GCL.

The pitching staff won't be as deep as the hitting is, but it could be the landing point for Taylor Guerrieri. Some teams would probably have Guerrieri pitch in the Midwest League, but the Rays have a track record of being conservative and, beyond that, have shown a preference for Princeton over Hudson Valley. Supplemental 1st rounder Blake Snell, 10th rounder Jacob Faria, and Czech Republican Stepan Havlicek are other likely rotation members.

Which affiliates are you looking forward to most next year? If you have any questions on where a player is likely headed, feel free to ask in the comments.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker