On Monday, the rosters for Saturday's Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game were announced. The Rays will be represented by a pair of 2014 Stone Crabs: catcher Justin O'Conner and first baseman Patrick Leonard. Fans can catch those two, and a number of top prospects, on MLB Network at 8 PM on Saturday.
O'Conner enjoyed a breakout season that started with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and finished with Double-A Montgomery. In addition to the impressive defense everyone has come to expect with a 55% caught stealing percentage, the 22 year old had a career year at the plate. Between the two levels, he posted a slash line (BA/OBP/SLG) of .278/.316/.466 with 35 doubles, 12 home runs, a 3.8% walk rate and 23.1% strikeout rate. Baseball America recently ranked O'Conner as the 10th best prospect in the Florida State League.
Heading into action today, O'Conner owned a .231/.302/.308 slash line with a 4.7% walk rate and 11.7% strikeout rate in 43 plate appearances with Peoria, a team lacking in offense so far this fall. He'll have to be added to the 40 man roster this off-season.
Leonard is also coming off his best season, although scouting reports on his future are mixed (BA, $). With Charlotte, the 22 year old batted .284/.359/.448 with 26 doubles, 13 home runs, a 9.5% walk rate and 20.8% strikeout rate. He played third base when the Rays acquired him from Kansas City in the James Shields trade, but he's only played 18 games there in his two years with the Rays. He is a good defender there.
With Peoria, Leonard is batting .194/.242/.226 with a 3.0% walk rate and 30.3% strikeout rate. It has been a tough fall so far, but these are the toughest pitchers he's faced in his career so far.
In addition to the pair of Rays, there will be plenty of reasons to tune in on November 1st. Their teammates on the East squad include top prospects shortstop Francisco Lindor (Cleveland) and Corey Seager (Dodgers), as well as Cuban import Rusney Castillo (Boston) and flamethrowing righty Francellis Montas (White Sox).
Opposing them on the West squad is star outfielder Byron Buxton (Minnesota), slugger (Pittsburgh) and promising arms like Archie Bradley (Arizona) and C.J. Edwards (Cubs).