Baseball America released their organizational rankings yesterday and the Rays come in a solid 4th, behind the Cardinals, Mariners and Rangers. They were 11th last season, so that's quite an improvement. It helps when you land one of the best prospects in the game in Wil Myers, along with Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard. Home grown prospects Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee also help strengthen the Rays stance as one of the top minor league systems.
Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projections for the Rays are out. Evan Longoria is projected to be the team's best player with a .353 wOBA and 5.2 WAR. Wil Myers is actually projected to lead the team in home runs with 26. David Price leads the way on the pitching side with 3.03 ERA/3.24 FIP and 5.1 WAR. Jake McGee projects as the most valuable reliever, narrowly nudging out Fernando Rodney.
In other Rays news, Matthews Leach has a nice little piece on the upside of the Rays offense for MLB.com. I had forgotten they were fourth in the AL in runs scored on the road last season. They're not a bad offense, they're just an average one who gets suppressed by their home ballpark.
Jonathon Mayo of MLB.com ranked Wil Myers as the 2nd best outfield prospect in the game to the Cardinals' Oscar Taveras. Mayo added
His offense, replete with plus bat speed and outstanding on-base skills, is big league ready. He's played a lot of center field, but he should put up the kind of numbers typically expected of a top-flight corner outfielder.
Lets hope so.
Over at FanGraphs, Paul Swyden writes about the Rays pickup of Kelly Johnson adding
...he may be the quintessential Rays free-agent acquisition — one who has shown the ability to be above-average in the past but doesn’t come with that price tag because of recent underperformance.
-Nick Johnson is retiring. Injuries ruined his career, but the man was impressive when he could keep himself on the diamond. His career .399 OBP is 62nd all time for players with at least 3,000 plate appearances. This is also an excuse to post his Double-A line from 1999: .345/.525/.548.
-I'll never not be interested in Barry Bonds. Especially when someone is talking about his walking prowess, as Geoff Young explains at BaseballProspectus. Barry Bonds intentional walks add up to 61,920 feet. Amazing.