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DRaysBay Staff Prospect List & Special Announcement

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That's of course David Price, not Davd. After the jump the actual lists from each of our five panel members and a special announcement concerning an upcoming project.

Our panelists:

Jake Larsen, DRB Head Editor
Patrick L. Kennedy, DRB Senior Editor
R.J. Anderson, DRB Senior Columnist
Matt Bisshof, DRB Columnist
Jason Collette, Rotojunkie fantasy baseball guru and DRB associate

Their lists and the combined lists:

Rather than go pick by pick and offer commentary we'll do our commenting in the uh...comments, but first a few notes:

- Jason was the only one who actually followed legit prospect rules, Guzman, Riggans, and such were eligible, but we didn't include them because we're stupid.
- 31 means unranked by that particularly writer, 0 made the averages smaller, obviously.
- The majority of us will be taking part in RaysBB's community prospect list.

We're not going to go prospect by prospect information, instead we'll use this time to announce the 2008 DRaysBay Season Preview Guide, yes the innagural voyage into season preview guides for our little site. It's going to be free, and in PDF form like LaMaritis, but it'll be tons better than that, trust me.

Essentially we're launching February 29th morning - the day of the very first spring training game for the Rays. As for what the guide will include, well we'd like to keep most of that concealed but a basic overview: Around 85 players reviewed and previewed by Bishoff and myself, a few features including my piece on the 2002 Rays' team, and some other "stuff".

Here's a taste of what you can get from the guide:

Evan Longoria
Third Base
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
DOB: 10/7/1985
Birthplace: Downey, CA
2007 Team: Montgomery / Durham

It wasn’t too long ago people groaned at the Rays for taking Longoria over the likes of pitchers Andrew Miller and Tim Lincecum. It was hard to blame them, after all Longoria’s top comparisons included Aaron Hill and Joe Randa, nice players, but not the ilk you want as the third overall pick. A year and a half later and everyone really does love Evan Longoria, heck even the Eva Longoria jokes have died down, Evan is his own man and his numbers prove that. He’s the poster child for the new organizational overlords, and unlike Delmon Young won’t be causing a stir with his remarks off of the field or antics on the field, but rather his play. Longoria didn’t quite tear a league up like he did to Hudson Valley in 2006 – a 1.379 OPS in 33 at-bats – but he had his way with Montgomery, encouraging after he only – yes only – posted a .752 OPS there to end his 2006 season. You can imagine the relief everyone felt when Longoria posted a .931 OPS in 381 at-bats this year before charting to Durham for 104 at-bats and a .888 OPS. Whether Longoria opens 2008 in Durham or St. Petersburg he’ll find his way to the majors quickly, with that being said the best news for the Rays is nothing in his stats line suggest fluke performances except for his BABIP being around .060 points higher than his xBABIP in Durham last year, but that doesn’t seem to be a long-standing concern to his game, just that he got lucky to a sub-Longoria performance in a hitter’s park. He has good plate presence and knows how to draw a walk and also displays a fiery demeanor that guys like Tim McCarver will drool over; he definitely expects the best from himself. Defensively Longoria will be above average, and let’s face it, if somehow Longoria sticks for six years as the Rays’ third baseman if he produces at an average rate he automatically becomes the best third baseman in team history; why? Here are the players who have played at least one inning at third for the Rays since their inception: Bobby Smith, Wade Boggs, Aaron Ledesma, Scott McClain, Dave Silvestri, Herbert Perry, Tony Graffanino, Vinny Castilla, Aubrey Huff, Russ Johnson, Ozzie Guillen, Damian Rolls, Jared Sandberg, Jason Smith, Andy Sheets, Felix Escalona, Damion Easley, Chris Truby, Jeff Liefer, Terry Shumpert, Jason Smith, Geoff Blum, B.J. Upton, Jorge Cantu, Jose Bautista, Eduardo Perez, Alex S. Gonzalez, Nick Green, Eric Munson, Fernando Cortez, Ty Wigginton, Tomas Perez, Sean Burroughs, Russell Branyan, Toby Hall, Akinori Iwamura, Josh Wilson, Joel Guzman, and Brendan Harris – 39 third baseman in roughly 1,620 games – that’s a different third baseman every 40 or so games! Penciling Evan in for a few seasons at the minimum would – cosmetically at least – make that list a bit less embarrassing, if not a steady reminder of where the organization has came from. There are some murmurs that Evan partakes in cigarettes, but the same was said about Akinori Iwamura last year, you never like to see your players do so, but he’s a grown man, and it’s not illegal, so there’s really not much the team can do. The obvious boom or bust comparisons to 2007’s versions of Alex Gordon and Ryan Braun are there, it’s hard to say which one he’ll fit, but his strikeout rates have steadily risen while his walk rates remain somewhat constant so I can’t see him completely falling off.

It should be around 150 pages with everything needed to get you ready for the 2008 season, here's the cover, made by J.D. Downie: