Tonight, the first 74 picks of the 2014 draft will be announced. MLB Network will air the fun starting at 7 PM with a pre-draft show starting at 6. You can view some more broadcast details and get a quick crash course on the draft here, including some resources to use to learn about players and what the Rays have done in previous drafts.
The Rays will make three picks tonight: #20, #60 and #72. Here is some historic information about those picks.
#20 in 2013: Tigers RHP Jonathan Crawford (has reached Class A)
Top #20 picks
1. Mike Mussina (83 WAR)
2. C.C. Sabathia (55 WAR)
3. Torii Hunter (49 WAR)
#20 picks that became big league managers
#60 in 2013: Rays SS Riley Unroe
Top #60 picks
1. Fred Lynn (49.9 WAR)
2. Steve Garvey (37.7 WAR)
3. Lynn McGlothen (14.6 WAR)
Rays picking #60
2013: Riley Unroe
2011: James Harris
#72 in 2013: Brewers SS Tucker Niehaus (has reached rookie ball)
Top #72 picks
1. Ray Lankford (38.1 WAR)
2. Dan Haren (33.5 WAR)
3. Mike Greenwell (25.7 WAR)
Here are some mock draft picks for the Rays at 20:
20: RAYS: Tampa hasn’t drafted well of late and has observed radio silence heading into this pick. The organization’s template hasn’t changed despite recent draft struggles—it’s a high-risk, high-reward approach. They’d be all in on Hill if he were available, but fellow California prep Jacob Gatewood will be. Projected Pick: SS Jacob Gatewood
No. 20: Tampa Bay Rays
Hearing bat more than pitcher now, and it sounds like the safety of Gillaspie is going to win out.
20) Rays Derek Hill, OF
20. Tampa Bay Rays: Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS (Calif.)
Several high school position players have been mentioned, including Monte Harrison and Hill. Gatewood has the most raw power in this class, and the chance of him being an impact player might be too much for the Rays to pass up.
20. Rays: Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco
Zimmer is the best athlete among this year's collegians and wouldn't be available here if he hadn't slumped. Most of the players linked to Tampa Bay are college products who could move quickly through a flagging farm system, including Beede, Gillaspie and Finnegan. If the Rays are willing to wait on high schoolers, they could choose Hill, Gatewood or Harrison.
For the nth straight year, the Houston Astros are now on the clock.
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