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2015 DRaysBay Community Prospect #10

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Thanks to Daniel Robertson, we can go ahead and skip #9

I couldn't find a pic of Brent Honeywell, so here's Daniel Robertson again
I couldn't find a pic of Brent Honeywell, so here's Daniel Robertson again
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The votes are in, and the Rays have a new prospect at the top of the list.

1. SS Daniel Robertson (42.9% in special election)
2. SS Willy Adames (91.6%)
3. OF Steven Souza (52.6%)
4. RHP Taylor Guerrieri (51.4% in runoff)
5. RHP Alex Colome (68.8%)
6. 2B Ryan Brett (51.2% in runoff)
7. C Justin O'Conner (70%)
8. SS Adrian Rondon (36.6%)
9. RHP Brent Honeywell (31.0%)

The Daniel Robertson vote was interesting to me. There was a lot of support for putting him before Willy Adames and a lot of support for putting him before Taylor Guerrieri, but not as much for putting him between Adames and Steven Souza. I won't bother trying to interpret this, but maybe someone wants to.

1B Jake Bauers (L/L, 6'1 195, 19 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Class A Fort Wayne: .296/.376/.414, 8 HR, 29 XBH, 10.9 BB%, 17.1 K%

Acquired in the Wil Myers trade, Bauers doesn't really fit the typical first base profile. Nevertheless, Baseball America ranked him as the 20th best prospect in the Midwest League. For such a young hitter, he has a strong approach at the plate and can hit any kind of pitch, and he makes a lot of contact. He also plays a good first base.

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

C Nick Ciuffo (L/R, 6'1 205, 20 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Rookie Princeton: .224/.289/.333, 4 HR, 12 XBH, 8.1 BB%, 21.3%

Seen as a pretty balanced catcher coming out of high school in 2013, Ciuffo has instead shown that his defense is far ahead of his bat. He has a strong arm and has improved his receiving  in a system that has quite a few good defensive catchers. His bat needs some work, though he did show improvement as the season progressed after battling illness at the beginning.

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

OF Johnny Field (R/R, 5'10 190, 23 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Class A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: .300/.376/.488, 56 XBH, 23/31 SB, 8.7 BB%, 19.2 K%

Field earned the Rays' minor league player of the year honor. He hit for contact with a patient approach and nice power with good play in the outfield. His tools aren't overwhelming, but his energy helps them play up and could help him reach the big leagues.

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

1B Casey Gillaspie (S/L, 6'4 240, 22 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Short-Season Hudson Valley: .262/.364/.411, 7 HR, 24 XBH, 13.6 BB%, 21.1 K%

Gillaspie was solid in his pro debut after being selected by the Rays in the first round from Wichita State. With no speed and nondescript defense at first base, it'll have to be his bat to carry him to the majors. He owns a pretty patient approach, and his raw power is above average. The New York-Penn League surely suppressed his statistics, but he still has some work to do to tap into his raw power consistently.

He's expected to start the 2015 season with Class A Bowling Green or Class A-Advanced Charlotte.

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.

SS Hak-Ju Lee (L/R, 6'2 170, 24 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Triple-A Durham: .203/.287/.276, 12/17 SB, 14 XBH, 10.4 BB%, 24.1 K%

Lee's return from torn knee ligaments was nothing short of a disaster. Now with a full season under his belt since the injury, maybe he can regain some of his speed since it's a key part of his offensive game with little power to speak of.

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

LHP Enny Romero (6'3 210, 24 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 126 IP, 4.50 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 9.4 BB%, 21.2 K%

Romero had his best strikeout rate since 2011 and best walk rate since 2010, but his command problems persisted. His fastball and breaking ball remain impressive pitches, and his changeup could be an average pitch. The results remained inconsistent though, as they have been for years.

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

RHP Burch Smith (6'4 215, 25 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Triple-A El Paso: 5 1/3 IP, 18.56 ERA, 3.38 WHIP, 15.6 BB%, 9.4 K%

After making the big league debut with the Padres in 2013, a forearm injury cost Smith pretty much all of 2014. He came back in the Arizona Fall League to pitch 14 2/3 innings, but it's still a lot of development time missed for a pitcher that needs it. He has an impressive fastball but his changeup and breaking ball need work.

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

LHP Blake Snell (6'4 180, 22 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Class A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 115 2/3 IP, 3.19 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 11.4 BB%, 24.2 K%

He still has a lot of work to do, but Snell cut down on his walks in 2014 and was able to advance to Charlotte. His struggles finding the strike zone can prevent him from throwing going deeper into games, so further improvement can help him build his workload. His low-90's fastball with action is his best pitch, and his breaking ball and changeup both show potential. The latter two need more consistency.

He's expected to start the 2015 season in Class A-Advanced Charlotte.

RHP Ryne Stanek (6'4 180, 23 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Class A Bowling Green and Class-A Advanced Charlotte: 57 2/3 IP, 4.06 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 7.5 BB%, 20.7 K%

Stanek made his long-awaited debut in 2014 after the 2013 first-rounder had to get hip surgery due to an injury in college. He showed the same stuff he did at Arkansas  with a fastball that can touch the mid-90's, above average breaking ball and usable changeup. Shoulder fatigue cut his season short, and it appears that health could be a barrier for his potential to start.

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 prominence. 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.

OF Justin Williams (L/L, 6'2 215, 19 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Rookie Missoula and Class A South Bend: .351/.403/.467, 4 HR, 21 XBH, 7.5 BB%, 20.9 K%

Also acquired in the Hellickson trade, Williams probably offers more upside in the batter's box than Velazquez. Expected to be a all-or-nothing potential slugger in the 2013 Draft, he has instead hit for contact and maintained a reasonable strikeout rate. He's not fast and adds little value in the field, so he'll need to continue to hit for contact and add power back into his game.

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

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.