With the first fifteen rounds of the 2012 MLB draft completed, we'll take a break from the typical Rays Tank and take a quick look at the collection of players the Rays selected. With players of various intriguing skillsets drafted from highschools, colleges, and junior colleges across the country, the Rays added a strong mix of talent to an already deep farm system.
In the next few days, there will be more analysis of the draft, but for now, here is a quick wrap on the action from the first fifteen rounds.
Round 1 (25 overall)
Richie Shaffer, 3B/1B/OF, 3/15/1991
School: Clemson University
Value: Ranked in the 10-25 range by most experts, Shaffer is a good value at #25.
Scouting Report: With arguably the best college bat in the draft, Shaffer gives the Rays a legitimate hitting prospect who features plus raw and usable power. There isn't much projection with Shaffer, who is a solid athlete with good strength but mediocre mobility defensively. He has fared well in college against even the best of competition, with the new bats and ACC schedule giving him no issues. He profiles to hit for average, draw walks, and provide a lot of power. Defensively, he is a project at 3B and better suited for 1B. However, given his strong arm, he could play RF.
Best Case Scenario (reasonably): A .270/.360/.520 hitter with 25-30 homeruns; a middle of the order bat. If he manages to play a position other than 1B, he should be very valuable player capable of being an All-Star.
ETA: Late-2014, although 2015 is more likely if he encounters any type of struggles.
Signability: Shaffer should be signable for a little over slot, and by all indications, he is ready to begin his professional career.
Round 2 (88 overall)
Spencer Edwards, OF, 4/7/1993
School: Rockwall HS (Texas)
Value: Ranked 175 overall by Baseball America, Edwards is still a solid value at this pick, where he is more likely to sign.
Scouting Report: Edwards currently plays shortstop, but he will likely move to center field, where his plus-plus speed plays well. Offensively, has a quick bat, but is raw. If he fills out his skinny frame, he could develop gap power.
Best Case Scenario: A solid hitter who can provide defensive value and value on the base-paths.
ETA: Around 2017, although that is really looking far into the future.
Round 3 (119 overall)
Andrew Toles, OF, 5/24/1992
School: Chipola College (JC)
Value: Ranked 102 overall by Baseball America, Toles is a solid value pick,
Scouting Report: The son of a first round NFL draft pick, Toles is a good athlete. His arm, speed, and defense all rate as above average, and he has a chance to hit for average. His power is his only weak tool, but he can still fight off good fastballs. Baseball America compared him to Michael Bourn, the Atlanta Braves CF.
Best Case Scenario: A top of the order bat who provides value on the basepaths and defensively.
ETA: Sometime around mid-2015 to 2016 if things progress well.
Round 4 (152 overall)
Nolan Gannon, RHP, 11/3/1993
School: Santa Fe Christian HS (California)
Value: In the fourth round, Gannon is a solid value pick.
Scouting Report: The "HT/WT" tells the story for Gannon. With such a projectable frame, it is easy to see his potential. He currently throws in the high-80s to low-90s with a promising curve and a changeup that needs work. His mechanics, while lacking much effort, need straightening out. He is a high upside/low floor type of player.
Best Case Scenario: He taps into that potential and becomes a 2-4 starter. The difference between his floor and his ceiling are drastic.
ETA: Like most of the highschoolers, 2017 is the date.
Round 5 (182 overall)
Bralin Jackson, OF, 12/2/1993
School: Raytown South HS (Mo.)
Scouting Report: Another toolsy OF, Jackson is raw at the plate and may need two years in rookie ball. Still, the upside is tantalizing.
Best Case Scenario: An everyday CF.
Round 6 (212 overall)
Damion Carroll, RHP, 1/31/1994
School: King George HS (Va.)
Value: Ranked 132 overall by Baseball America, so good value.
Scouting Report: Pitching in the low-90s, Carroll has impressive arm strength despite how raw he is. His offspeed pitches need work but show promise.
Best Case Scenario: A 2-4 starter, but like Gannon, his floor is low.
Round 7 (242 overall)
Marty Gantt, OF, 2/11/1990
School: College of Charleston
Value: He is a bit of a reach by most publications.
Scouting Report: Gantt, whose right hand is underdeveloped, is a feel-good story. On the field, his performance has been impressive. He is more solid than anything else.
Best Case Scenario: He profiles more as a 4th OF than anything else, but he could always surprise.
Round 8 (272 overall)
Luke Maile, C/1B, 2/6/1991
School: University of Kentucky
Value: Solid value.
Scouting Report: Maine has performed very well against the toughest college competition in the SEC. Offensively, there is quite a bit to like, and his bat could definitely play at the C position. However, most scouts don't see him as a catcher. He will receive his shot to prove himself at the position.
Best Case Scenario: If he sticks at catcher, there is a chance he could be a regular.
Round 9 (302 overall)
Joseph Rickard, OF, 5/21/1991
School: University of Arizona
Value: Not ranked in the BA top 500, so a bit of a reach.
Scouting Report: Scouting reports on Rickard are few in number. He can swipe some bases and play some defense, but his other tools lag behind.
Best Case Scenario: Profiles as organizational depth, but he could find his way onto a bench.
Round 10 (332 overall)
Sean Bierman, LHP, 10/20/1988
School: University of Tampa
Value: He is a "reach" at this spot. Still, players like him help the Rays to have room to sign higher ranked players.
Scouting Report: There are few reports on him, but he throws a variety of pitches and mixes them well to get good results. None of his pitches stand out.
Best Case Scenario: He could develop into a 4/5 starter or middle reliever, but that is really stretching it.
Round 11 (362 overall)
Clayton Henning, CF, 11/9/1993
School: St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Kan.)
Value: Unranked by Baseball America, but as a HS player, the Rays could have just felt more confident in his talent.
Scouting Report: Unfortunately, there are no real reports available on Henning that I could find. Even the Rays press release was vague.
Best Case Scenario: Due to the lack of reports, this is hard to say. Since he is from HS, his ceiling is (theoretically) higher.
Round 12 (392 overall)
Taylor Hawkins, C, 9/17/1993
School: Carl Albert HS (Oklahoma)
Value: Baseball America had him ranked around 100 spots later, but as a HS player, the difference in ranking and draft position could just be a difference in opinion.
Scouting Report: According to Baseball America, Hawkins is an athletic catcher whose best tool is his power. His 74 homeruns in his HS career are one shy of Jeff Clement's national record.
Best Case Scenario: Given his athleticism and position, Hawkins could eventually become an everyday catcher.
ETA: Catchers take longer than most positions, so 2018.
Round 13 (422 overall)
Dylan Floro, RHP, 12/27/1990
School: Cal-State Fullerton
Value: Baseball America ranked him 310.
Scouting Report: Floro has taken a bit of a step back since arriving at college. His delivery has developed from a conventional, standard motion into a funky sidearm delivery. Likewise, his stuff has gone backwards, with his formerly plus slider now grading out as fringy. He does throw in the 89-91 range though, and his delivery adds deception.
Best Case Scenario: He could develop into a solid reliever, and maybe even one to handle the late innings if his offspeed pitches develop more.
Round 14 (452 overall)
Christopher Kirsch, LHP, 11/15/1991
School: Lackawanna College (JC)
Value: Baseball America ranked him 316.
Scouting Report: A college pitcher who is still projectable, Kirsch can get his fastball up to 92 mph. His three other pitches (curve, slider, changeup) all have a chance to be average.
Best Case Scenario: A 3-5 starter or a middle reliever.
Round 15 (482 overall)
Willian Gabay, RHP, 7/3/1991
School: Herkimer County CC
Value: Ranked 414 by Baseball America.
Scouting Report: Gabay is an athletic pitcher who features a 91-94 mph fastball and a mediocre slider. Baseball America notes that his stuff profiles well in the bullpen.
Best Case Scenario: A middle reliever in the bullpen.
- Make sure to head over to RaysProspects and RaysDigest for more draft coverage. Both have been providing outstanding analysis and reporting so far.
Credit for the information in the scouting reports belongs to Baseball America, MLB.com (Jonathan Mayo), Scout.com, Perfect Game, ESPN, College Baseball Draft Report, and projectprospect.com.