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Jake's Take: My Rays Prospect List #s 15-19

"Second verse, same as the first"

#19: Chris Nowak, 1B/3B-

If you ever see Chris in person, you'll notice that he's a large, LARGE guy. That's not a good reason, is it? No? Well, he's starting to become a decent hitter and is starting to pick up speed as a player. Big bat when he gets a hold of the ball and is a pretty decent fielder when he's put on 1B or 3B. I could see him as the Rays Future DH if he continues to progress as he is.

#18: John Jaso, C/1B/DH?-

If he would've stayed healthy, he would be Top 10 material without a doubt. However, shoulder issues knocked him far down my rankings. He's a good project for us(as a 1B) and the power seems to be there. I'd be happier if he could show that he could be a legit Catching prospect, but due to injury issues and YCSS(Young Catcher Stagnation Syndrome) I don't see that happening. Worth keeping an eye on. A healthy,productive season in 2006 could put him back in the Rays future plans.

#17: Jon Barratt, LHP-

Still one of the hardest throwers in our system, but he got screwed in Cali in 2005. The Cali League and a flyball pitcher aren't a good combination. Also, a injury-riddled pitching staff in Cali didn't help Jon either. He was moved to the bullpen, probably because Rays Scouts figured his small build isn't good for being a starter. That transition didn't seem to be a smooth one and I believe that the move may be reconsidered(add into the fact that in Barratt's starts in 2005, he pitched decently). We'll see how things shake out for Barratt.

#16: Jamie Shields, RHP-

After many injury-filled seasons, 2005 was a big surprise for Jamie. He pitched decent in Montgomery, which led to a promotion to Durham. He pitched well enough in Durham to be invited to the Arizona Fall League where he flat-out dominated highly-touted hitting prospects and used his change-up as his #1/"out pitch" which says alot for his confidence in his pitches. He, in an interview during the AFL, said that he's doing everything he can this offseason to force himself into a shot for a Rays Rotation spot. Not sure if he'll get it, but I like the confidence.

#15: Andy Sonnanstine, RHP-

Came out of nowhere in 2005 and just dominated the Midwest League. A very deceptive pitcher(side-armer) who doesn't like walking pitchers...ever. A few questions arise about Andy, mainly about his lack of a mid-90's Fastball(which gives up alot of hits) and his age respective to his league...but the Southern League seems like a challenge compared to his last season. We'll figure out if the Rays want to move this sidearmer with low walk totals to the 'pen where that combination would excel the most or if they want to keep him in the rotation.

More to come later...