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2015 DRaysBay Community Prospect #4

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Taylor Guerrieri edged out Alex Colome in the runoff

The setback in Tommy John surgery rehab did not deter voters from choosing Taylor Guerrieri
The setback in Tommy John surgery rehab did not deter voters from choosing Taylor Guerrieri
Jim Donten

After Taylor Guerrieri and Alex Colome went to a runoff to decide the #3 prospect, the runoff was just as close. Guerrieri won with 19 votes to Colome's 18.

1. SS Willy Adames (91.6%)
2. OF Steven Souza (52.6%)
3. RHP Taylor Guerrieri (51.4% in runoff)

Here's a refresher on the rules from valued former staff member Michael:

For this year's list, the rules will be the same as before. Cast a "+1" vote as a reply to the prospect listed that you think is best. The player receiving the most votes is announced the winner of the spot. Each poll will be open for voting for a two day period, and the goal is to create a top 30 list.

A few notes to remember.....

1. Please vote for the prospect that you believe to be the best. Even if the player does not have a good shot at winning, I encourage you to vote for the best prospect. Runoffs are the times to vote for the prospect you like who has the best shot of winning.

2. If you want to vote for someone who is not listed, reply "(player name) +1" to "Others." If you think someone should be added to the list, reply with their name to the comment reading "Testers." They will then be added to the pool of contenders for the next poll.

3. There are many ways in which to decide who you want to vote for. Things such as scouting reports, statistics, age relative to league, position, and pedigree should all be considered. How you weigh these will determine your pick.

4. Discussion is encouraged. Perhaps the best part of doing this list, for me, is engaging in the many conversations. It helps everyone to make a better choice, to reevaluate their take on a player, and to share their views with others.

2B Ryan Brett (R/R, 5'9 180, 23 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: .303/.346/.448, 39 XBH, 27/34 SB, 5.2 BB%, 16.1 K%

Brett makes a lot of contact, and it's often hard contact for a player of his size. He's not going to hit many over the fence, but he can get the ball into the gaps and use his speed to generate doubles and triples. He also uses that speed to steal bases effectively, but it would be nice if he could boost his walk rates to where they were earlier in his career. He'll be an adequate defender at second base.

He's expected to start the 2015 season with Triple-A Durham.

RHP Alex Colome (6'2 210, 26 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 86 IP, 3.37 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 8.1 BB%, 19.8 K%
2014 statistics with Tampa Bay: 23 2/3 IP, 2.66 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 10.3 BB%, 13.4 K%

Colome is finally out of options, so it's hard to envision a scenario in which he's on here again next offseason. After returning from a 50-game suspension to start the season, he actually showed a little improvement with the Bulls with the lowest walk rate of his career.

Overall command is still something to improve on, but with his hard fastball and promising cutter, breaking ball and changeup, he has the stuff to get whiffs in the big leagues.

He's expected to start the 2015 season with the Rays.

RHP Brent Honeywell (6'2 180, 20 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Rookie Princeton: 33 2/3 IP, 1.07 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 4.7 BB%, 31.3 K%

Honeywell burst onto the scene after the Rays drafted him in the second round in 2014. His arsenal is led by his screwball, a pitch hitters in the low minors no doubt struggled with. His fastball sits in the low-90's and can touch the mid-90's, and his breaking ball and changeup are a work in progress.

He's expected to start the 2015 season with Class A Bowling Green.

RHP Nathan Karns (6'3 210, 27 in 2014)

2014 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 145 1/3 IP, 5.08 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 9.9 BB%, 24.5 K%
2014 statistics with Tampa Bay: 12 IP, 4.50 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 8.2 BB%, 26.5 K%

Karns continued to pile up the strikeouts in his first year in the organization, but his season was inconsistent. His fastball and curveball combination give him a certain role as a big league reliever, but the Rays hope he could be more. With a better changeup and command, he could still be a starter.

Since the Rays are probably going to continue developing him as a starter, I expect he'll be in Durham.

OF Mikie Mahtook (R/R, 6'1 200, 25 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Triple-A Durham: .292/.362/.458, 12 HR, 51 XBH, 18/23 SB, 8.4 BB%, 24.9 K%

Mahtook's minor league career was a disappointment prior to 2014, but he had a major rebound last season. With his improvement at the plate came an increase in his strikeout rate, but he has solid tools across the board. He also brings energy to the field to make the most out of his ability.

He's expected to get a long look with the big league club in spring training, but I'd guess he'll head back to Durham.

C Justin O'Conner (R/R, 6'0 190, 23 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: .278/.316/.466, 12 HR, 49 XBH, 3.8 BB%, 23.1 K%

O'Conner enjoyed a breakout 2014 when he finally put together his great glove and arm with solid offense. His arm behind the plate can change games and could get him to the big leagues itself. At the plate, he offers the power potential to be an everyday player in the future.

He's expected to start 2015 back with Double-A Montgomery.

SS Adrian Rondon (R/R, 6'2 180, 16 in 2015)

2014 statistics: Not sure if they have these for Dominican amateur workouts

Rondon was the top international prospect in the 2014 international signing period, and the Rays completely disregarded their international pool limit to secure his talent. He has as many professional at-bats as I do right now, but that'll change soon with his superior talent. He can stick at shortstop and swing the bat.

I personally expect he'll start 2015 in the Gulf Coast League.

IF Andrew Velazquez (S/R, 5'8 175, 20 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Class A South Bend: .290/.367/.428, 42 XBH, 50/65 SB, 10.0 BB%, 21.9 K%

Velazquez was acquired in the trade that sent Jeremy Hellickson to Arizona. He had an impressive on-base streak in 2014 which brought him to national attendance. He has some nice pop at this size, but it wouldn't be bad if he could cut down on his strikeouts a bit and utilize his good speed with more balls in play. He'll have a shot to stick at shortstop.

He's expected to start 2015 with Class A-Advanced Charlotte.

You can find more detailed scouting information (with some subscriptions necessary) at Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, Minor League Ball, MLB.com, ESPN and plenty of other places.