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Season Preview Guide

A full preview of the first ever DRays Season Preview Guide can be seen after the jump.

I guess that makes it a Pre-Preview Guide? Anyhow, here is another look at the cover for the guide...Longoria and Price look good in blue, don't they?

RJ mentioned this on the prospect rankings list, but I think a project of this magnitude requires its own introductory post.

On February 29th, which is a Friday, we will be releasing the first ever DRaysBay Season Preview Guide. This guide will include multiple things, such as: projections, lengthy feature columns by your favorite DRaysBay writers, AL East breakdown (for you non-rays fans), plus much, much more.

The bulk of this magazine will be a very extensive review of the top-85 players in the Rays system, which have been written by R.J. Anderson and myself. Like R.J. did last night, I will go ahead and leak one of my profiles:

Hector Gimenez
Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
DOB: 9/28/82
Birthplace: San Felipe, Venezuela
2007 Team: Houston Astros

After missing the entire 2007 season after a rotator cuff surgery, the Rays took a flyer on Gimenez and signed him to a minor league contract, with a invitation to spring training. For a while, Hector was the #1 catching prospect in the Astros organization. In 2006, he hit .273 with 8 home runs in his first season at AAA. After that he got called up to the Astros, but barely played before tearing his rotator cuff.

As of now, Hector is considered a viable option to start the 2008 season as the backup catcher. One thing that could possibly give him a edge over Riggans, would be his home land of Venezuela. Since starting catcher Dioner Navarro was also born in Venezuela, this could lead to some form of cohesiveness together between the two signal callers. Hector will only be 25 years old this season, and could still develop to become an above-average catcher.

Before his injury, Hector put up his best numbers in the minors his final 2 seasons at Double-A and Triple-A respectively. He doesn't have great power but he does have the ability to hit 10+ home runs each season. He also managed to bring his K/BB rate down from Double-A to Triple-A.

He will not commit many errors, as he only committed 5 in his last Triple-A stint. He has a decent arm for throwing out runners, but are yet to find out how it has been affected from the surgery. He has also played 27 games throughout his minor league career at first base, while only committing 1 error. Do not consider him a viable first base option, as he simply does not have the bat for it.

This season Hector may very well win the backup catcher job, but don't be surprised if he starts out the season in the minors. He is only 25 which is relatively young for a catcher, and hasn't played ball in over a year. If he can get back onto the track he was on in 2006, the Rays will have made a nice offseason acquisition.