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Mid-season 2014 Rays top 30 prospects: Extra 11

There's depth in the system and plenty of names to keep an eye on

Thomas Milone may not be as raw as initially believed
Thomas Milone may not be as raw as initially believed
Jim Donten

Last week, I said there were a lot of players I wish I could've included in my top 30.  Some of those players were discussed in the comments or on Danny's list, but I wanted to highlight them here in alphabetical order.

Stats are accurate prior to Monday's games.

RHP Jacob Faria (20) - Faria has been good, not great, in his full-season league debut.  With a 21.4% strikeout rate and 6% walk rate, he's still throwing strikes reliably and getting a decent amount of strikeouts.  With average stuff, his margin for error will get smaller as he moves up the ladder.  He's supposed to have some fastball movement, but his groundball rates have consistently been below average.

RHP Brent Honeywell (19) - Honeywell's selection in the second round was surprising, but the screwballer has gotten his career off to a nice start with Princeton.  His 31.2% strikeout rate and 5.4% walk rate while pitching well below the league average age clearly stand out.  Like good changeups though, young hitters in the lower levels will have a hard time with the screwball.  I suspect he's one of those pitchers we're not sure about until he gets some tougher challenges.

RHP Nolan Gannon (20) - Gannon has some similarities to Faria; he's tall with some room to gain strength, and he has average stuff.  He's striking out 23% of opponents and walking just 2.7%.  It's pretty easily his best professional season to date since being drafted in 2012, and it would be nice to see him finally get assigned to a full-season league.  He was a top 300 prospect in his draft according to Baseball America, but they noted he had mechanical issues that limited stuff and increased injury risk.

OF Hunter Lockwood (21) - In his pro debut last year, Lockwood led the Appalachian League in extra base hits.  This season, he's second in the New York-Penn League in home runs and tied for first in extra base hits.  He certainly seems to provide plenty of power, but his aggressive approach is a concern moving forward.  Although he's batting .278 this year, he has struck out in 30% of his career plate appearances, and I can't imagine he can maintain success at that rate.

RHP German Marquez (19) - The Rays don't often move pitching prospects at a rate faster than a Molina home-to-first time, but Marquez seems to be an exception.  He's one of the youngest pitchers in the Midwest League, and lately he's been very good.  In seven second half appearances, he has 37 strikeouts and just nine walks in 30.1 innings.  Unlike last year when he tired at the end of the season (BA, $), he's been performing better.

CF Thomas Milone (19) - Milone was the Rays' 2013 third rounder, and he was billed as an extremely raw player.  His assignment to Princeton this year reflects that, and his performance might indicate he's not as raw as expected.  His OPS is a solid .762, and his lack of baseball experience isn't showing in his plate approach with a 21.3% strikeout rate and 10.7% walk rate.  With his speed and chance to play center field, it's clear why he was already in BA's top 30.

RHP Jose Mujica (18) - Mujica entered the season as the Rays' 10th best prospect according to Keith Law, but a foot injury is preventing him from pitching this season.  With his good stuff, control and youth, it's not difficult to argue he should still be in the top 30.  He's the kind of pitcher that could force the Rays to advance him more quickly than they usually would.

RHP Jaime Schultz (24) - 24 years old and just arriving in High-A usually isn't a great sign, but Schultz is worth watching.  In his pro debut last year, the 14th round pick had a pedestrian season, albeit one with a 29.1% strikeout rate.  This year with Bowling Green, he struck out 39.2% of opponents and cut his walk rate down to single digits.  A recent report from Baseball Prospectus ($) indicates he has the stuff to back up these rates, but he has to improve his command.

SS Cristian Toribio (19) - Toribio has the defensive ability to stay up the middle of the diamond, and he's been a force at the plate after a slow start with Princeton this year.  He owns a .885 OPS with a 6.5% walk rate and 19.5% strikeout rate, and lately he's been improving batting left-handed which is something he's still learning to do.  His .751 OPS against righties is higher than it's been in the past, but it's somehow still lower than just his SLG against lefties.

RHP Cameron Varga (19) - Varga was the Rays' second pick, and as was discussed in the comments section last week, even I found it odd he wasn't in the top 30 on my own list.  With above average stuff and some early success under his belt, he's not just riding his draft pedigree either.  He turns 20 next week, so he's old for his class and could move up at a pretty brisk pace.

RHP Hunter Wood (20) - Wood is not performing quite as well as he did in his pro debut last year with Princeton, but he's been solid with Hudson Valley after some early struggles in full-season ball.  I still feel he's worth keeping an eye on.  BA didn't have a report on him when the Rays took him in the 29th round, but they did have one a year earlier when the Red Sox took him in the 32nd, noting he's athletic with an average fastball.  With the above average strikeout rates he's posted, maybe his stuff is better now.