When the next MLB Amateur Draft rolls along, the Rays Minor League may be undergoing a few changes that many Rays fans aren't used to.
With the localization of the majority of our Minor League Affiliates, we're now able to adjust our teams quicker than we have. In the past we were less likely to "fast track" prospects, seeing as that we had affiliations in Michigan and California, and many felt that the differing natures of our parks and leagues would do damage to our more young prospects' confidence. Most of the time, we'd keep our prospects in their level and have them work on different things during their stays with their teams.
Basically, if we've got a prospect lighting it up in Columbus....we can send him down to Vero Beach without really affecting his playing schedule. With every affiliate, except for our short-season teams, being within a 2-3 hr plane trip from each other, it gives us more of a liklier chance of regulating our prospects and keeping them playing at their most competitive levels.
Another change that may be in place by then is the change in the CBA that has an effect on the way the draft works. According to sources, the draft pick compensation will be no more. There will be no more supplemental draft picks and level the playing field that Oakland, Boston and the Yankees have taken advantage of. Instead of picking in the 50s when you have the first pick in the 2nd round, you will not pick in the 30s and thus, assuming teams don't get cheap, get better players. An already loaded Rays farm system may get even better, IF this change in the CBA is made.
As a Devil Rays fan, especially one very familiar with our farm system and keeping up with our International Scouting Department, should we start considering to try to get a 2nd Rookie League team(possibly in the GCL)? I'm not familiar with the GCL and where they really play, but with the Dodgers moving out of VB in the next year or two, we shouldn't let a good park like that or the still-there Al Lang Field go to waste.