Baseball Prospectus released their 2015 top 10 Rays prospect list, and agreed with Baseball America's high praised for Willy Adames and Adrian Rondon, but there was a surprise at No. 5.
Below are my takeaways from their write up, but as always, we'd encourage you to go read the full report. The spark notes won't do it justice.
1. SS Willy Adames
+ strength, bat, arm to play from left side
- current instincts at shortstop are average
Adames is one of two players given future potential of a first-division player.
2. C Justin O'Conner
+ 8-grade arm, improved receiving, great hands and strength
- jumpy, likes to move and likes to swing; projection to back-up role.
3. RHP Alex Colome
+ easy velocity, can use secondary pitches to strike 'em out
- erratic delivery
Colome's projection hasn't changed, if everything clicks he's got the ceiling of a No. 3, but the future points toward the back end of the 'pen.
4. SS Adrian Rondon
+ athletic, natural, great foundation at sixteen
- limited experience
Re-read Scott's take on his shock a sixteen year old signing would get such a high placement, and see it replicated here. BP sees potential for perennial all-star status.
5. RHP Brent Honeywell
+ pitcher's body, arsenal works well enough
- room to grow, physically and performance wise
The pleasant surprise in the rankings, as second round pick Honeywell could have been just a gimmick with the screwball, but it's working on paper and it's working in the eyes of the beholder as well. There seems to be no question he can make the major league rotation.
6. RHP Nate Karns
+ pitcher's body fully grown, arsenal ready for bigs
- still stiff, meh change, not an artist
Similar projection as Colome, despite an arm that should carry a load of innings.
7 .RHP Taylor Guerrieri
+ smooth motion, 7-grade fastball and curve
- needs to prove his change
8. 1B Casey Gillaspie
+ present power, can adjust at the plate
- limited defensive ability
9. OF Justin Williams
+ quick swing, hard contact, glove projects avg.
- hard swing, needs to keep hitting at higher levels
Matt Silverman's Hellickson trade not only reels in a top ten, but the only other label of first-division potential.
10. LHP Blake Snell
+ pitcher's body, natural on the mound
- inconsistent arm slot
Prospects tabbed as on the rise (not necessarily on the outside looking in, but could have helium next season) were 2013 first round pick C Nick Ciuffo, RHP Jamie Schultz, and OF Manuel Sanchez.
Factors on the farm ready to contribute were OF Mikie Mahtook, LHP Enny Romero, and recently acquired RHP Jose Dominguez. All reasonable expectations.
There's a ton more they had to say about the youth on the squad, and the impression I have is that the whiffs of 2011 are not a sorely felt in this year's rankings. Without the David Price trade, however, I doubt that would be true.