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Rays Roundup: Draft Preparation Edition

We're already way behind on passing along draft information, so here's a rundown of all the great work that's come out over the last few weeks. Take the mock draft selections with a grain of salt; I pay attention once I hear the same name come up multiple times, but I normally use mock drafts as an excuse to read a bit more about potential prospects I hadn't heard about before.

  • Baseball America has two mock drafts out at the moment, and The Process Report has covered both of them. In their first mock draft, Baseball America had the Rays selecting RHP Jose Fernandez, 1B C.J. Cron, and OF Brandon Nimmo. In their second mock, they again had the Rays choosing Jose Fernandez, but then switched it up to include 2B Kolten Wong and LHP Matt Purke.
  • John Sickels has been doing some mock drafts over at Minor League Ball, and he has the Rays taking RHP Robert Stephenson, 1B C.J. Cron, and SS Levi Michael in the first round.

    I have similar questions with this draft as I did when looking at the BA mock drafts: do the Rays really need to be taking another pitcher with their first pick of the draft? And also, do we need another shortstop in our minors? I guess it comes down to what you think their strategy is going to be. Do the Rays focus on filling organizational needs, or do they simply go with the best possibly player on the board? I'd like them to get the best player possible, but wouldn't mind if they focused on getting big bats moreso than other areas.
  • Rays Prospects has already posted a range of articles on prospects the Rays might consider. For the hitters, they profiled Kolten Wong, Andrew Susac, Brandon Nimmo, C.J. Cron, and Josh Bell; for the pitchers, they posted a large list of pitchers to keep an eye on as the draft gets closer.

    Also, BurGi wrote a great article that combined all the current mock drafts into one master list. This way, it gives you a good idea on where most analysts expect certain prospects to fall and which players might be available when the Rays are picking.
  • R.J. Anderson talks about LHP Matt Purke, discussing why the Rays can afford to take a bit of a risk this year. With all these picks, they can afford to make the occasional gamble on a riskier, high-upside pick.