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Jake's Take: My Rays Prospect List TOP 10

I did it, my way....

#10: Chuck Tiffany-

Although I like Edwin Jackson as a pitcher, I believe that Chuck Tiffany was the steal of this offseason's trade. Chuck Tiffany started his minor league career pitching a perfect game and almost had a no-hitter to go with it in the very next start. That's a hell of a start for a pitching prospect just being drafted out of HS. In 2005, Tiffany didn't have a totally dominating season but he put up great numbers for the park he was playing in. The 2 questions that scouts have about Chuck is that he seemed to give up alot of hits in Vero Beach this year and he seemed to have "on-again-off-again" nights because his lack of a "plus pitch" and his "effective wildness". He expects to start 2006 in pitcher-friendly Montgomery and we'll see if he's still the flyball pitcher that Dodger fans made him out to be. If he maintains his High Strikeout-Low Walk Dominance, the Rays will definitely give him a "cup of coffee" in September.

#9: Reid "The Cajun God of Baseball" Brignac, SS-

2005 was full of ups and downs for my favorite prospect in the Rays Organization. He showed alot of power(15 HRs) for a 19 yr old playing in a pitcher-friendly Midwest League. He didn't exactly show enough patience in the MWL and his Batting Average and Strikeout Totals prove that. Next year, Reid will be promoted to the Cali League which is known to be an extreme hitters league. I've predicted a Brandon Wood-like breakout for Briggy, but he's got to lower the strikeouts, take alot more pitches and stay healthy. Make me proud, Reid, make me proud.

#8: Chris Mason, RHP-

Another great draft day pick for the Rays, Chris Mason went from pitching a full work-load in UNC-Greensboro(118 IP) to pitching key relief spots for another 30+ Innings in the minors. He had nice numbers for a pitcher whose arm was probably a little tired by the end of the SW Michigan Rays season. If the Rays do decide to move him to the rotation like they should, he'll probably bypass High A- Visalia and go straight to Double A- Montgomery. The only negative criticism about Mason is his short stature, but he's already drawn alot of comparisons to another shorty in Tim Hudson.

#7: Jeff Niemann, RHP-

Damn injuries, damn Rice Curse... If it weren't for those 2 glaring marks on Niemann, I think he'd be destined to start the season in the majors this season. He's a great pitcher, huge and dominating, but close to a year off from baseball can do its damage. He had alot of injury flare-ups this past season and had to have his collarbone shaved down this offseason to fix his arm troubles. He was a pretty good pitcher when he did pitch, but didn't rack up any wins yet in the minors(due to pitch counts). I believe he has ace-level talent, but are we going to ever see it?

#6: Jake McGee, LHP-

Another of my personal favorites in the Rays system(I dunno why, though...hehehe), was a part of a young dynamic pitching duo in the minors. Great control for such a young pitcher and will finally pitch in a full season league in 2006 in SW Michigan. Has #3 or #4 potential in the MLB if he maintains his minor league standards that he's set for himself. I'm definitely going to make another trip to Kane County to watch the SW Michigan Rays play, but this time it's to see the young pitching.

#5: Elijah Dukes, CF-

If only he didn't have such a horrible temper, we wouldn't be so unwilling to give up Gathright. Dukes has one of the best bats in the minors(out-produced Atlanta's OF Jeff Francouer in the Southern League), but has yet to shake off the makeup issues scouts frown upon. I personally believe that his promotion to Durham is being hindered by his attitude problems and once he gets over himself, we're going to have to find somewhere to fit Dukes in the Tampa Bay line-up.

#4: Wade Davis, RHP-

Talent and potential-wise, I don't see anyone in the entire Rays Organization that is better than this youngster. I personally think that he could take Kazmir behind the woodshed and show him a thing or two. Great pitch repertoire, great "stuff", dominating prescence on the mound and great "make-up". The only thing that can stop Wade from making the majors is himself. Will be the "ace" of the SW Michigan Rays staff in 2006 and good luck to opposing hitters because this kid will make you look foolish, easily.

#3: Jason Hammel, RHP-

Very Zito-esque(mainly in the curveball and the knack for being a groundball pitcher). Will see some time in the majors in 2006, that's for sure. Good pitcher and probably would give Waechter a run for his money if they were given the same amount of slack.

#2: Wes Bankston, 1B-

May I have the pleasure in introducing you to the Rays starting 1B in 2007. It's just a matter of time before Wes takes the 1B reigns from somewhat beloved 1B Defensive Dyname, Travis Lee. Good plate discipline and decent power, plus he's not horrible defensively there.

And the Top Prospect in the Rays system, according to me....

#1: Delmon Young, RF

Some say he's cocky, some say he's got a bad "me-first" attitude...but all I have to say is, if he hits like this in the majors...I'll turn the other cheek, if he's still cocky. Won the Southern League MVP award, only playing in the first half there. Wow,just wow! He seemed to forget his plate discpline in Montgomery late in the season, but I see that as him being angry at the former regime for not bringing him up and not so much about him being overmatched by pitching. I believe that he could make the Rays opening day roster, if he has a good enough spring and the Front Office has yet to say that they think he's Durham bound for seasoning...