Michael's Rays Top 30 Prospects

Greg Fiume

My personal list of the Rays top 30 prospects.

As a continuation of our DRaysBay top 30 prospects, I present to you my Rays top 30 prospects list. Scott covered his list yesterday, Kevin will reveal his tomorrow, and the aggregate list comes on Friday.

Methodology

I do not use a complex formula or grading system for ranking the prospects. I hope that as every year passes and I learn and observe new things, my evaluation methods improve. I try to encompass and involve all possible factors into my rankings, including a player's potential, present ability, position, age relative to league, statistics, scouting reports, work ethic, pedigree, injuries, etc...

I am by no means a scout. In addition to that, I have not seen all of the minor league players in the Rays farm system in action (although I have seen almost of all of the prospects live or on video). Because of these two handicaps, I turn to sources for scouting reports, such as Baseball America, Minor Leauge Ball, ESPN, Baseball Prospectus, and Bullpen Banter. By reading all the reports and information, I formulate my own opinion and create a top prospect list.

Without further ado, here are my top 30 prospects, along with commentary on the system as a whole.

1. Wil Myers, OF

2. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP

3. Chris Archer, RHP

4. Hak-Ju Lee, SS

5. Jake Odorizzi, RHP

6. Richie Shaffer, 3B

7. Alex Colome, RHP

8. Enny Romero, LHP

9. Blake Snell, LHP

10. Jake Hager, SS

11. Josh Sale, OF

12. Drew Vettleson, OF

13. Mikie Mahtook, OF

14. Tyler Goeddel, 3B

15. Jesse Hahn, RHP

16. Tim Beckham, SS/2B

17. Parker Markel, RHP

18. Andrew Toles, CF

19. Patrick Leonard, 3B

20. Alex Torres, LHP

21. Brandon Guyer, OF

22. Todd Glaesmann, CF

23. Felipe Rivero, LHP

24. Jeff Ames, RHP

25. Oscar Hernandez, C

26. Mike Montgomery, LHP

27. Brandon Martin, SS

28. Nick Sawyer, RHP

29. Ryan Brett, 2B

30. Granden Goetzman, OF

The James Shields trade did wonders to replenish and strengthen the Rays farm system. It is a very balanced system as well, with quality hitters and pitchers. On the hitting side, you have some guys who bring multiple strengths to the table (Mikie Mahtook, Andrew Toles) and well as guys who swing a big bat (Richie Shaffer, Josh Sale, Patrick Leonard). There are pitchers with tantalizing stuff (Jesse Hahn, Chris Archer) as well as those who rely on command and pitchibility to record outs (Jake Odorizzi, Blake Snell).

At the top, you have Wil Myers, who is among the top 3 prospects in the game. He is followed by Guerrieri and Archer. I gave Guerrieri the nod, but the difference between the two is very small. A step down from them are Hak-Ju Lee and Odorizzi, two guys who do not have amazing potential but are close to the major leagues and should contribute solidly. Shaffer, Colome, and Romero comprise of the next group. Each has upside but enough issues to hold them back from a higher ranking. From 10-25, you have a large group of prospects who are not very far apart, with legitimate cases, in my opinion, for moving many of these guys around several spots. After those top 25, there is a wide array of intriguing prospects, most of whom did not make the list. Jose Mujica, a bonus baby who is regarded as the best international free agent pitching prospect from the July 2nd crop, failed to make the list, but he is one to keep an eye on. Spencer Edwards, the Rays second round pick of the 2012 draft, fell a little short on making the list. Three of the Rays 2011 first round picks did not make the cut as well. There are plenty of guys deep in the system who did not receive a mention that are interesting in their own right, so it was difficult to end the list at only thirty.

Thoughts? Comments?

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