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2015 DRaysBay Community Prospect #15

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A lot of Nathan Karns backers moved their support behind Blake Snell

Blake Snell's potential can't be ignored
Blake Snell's potential can't be ignored
Jim Donten

Blake Snell's victory was pretty decisive. No remaining player has received more than seven votes in a round so far, so it should be a tight contest.

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%)
10. 1B Casey Gillaspie (36.6%)

11. LHP Enny Romero (35.1%)
12. IF Andrew Velazquez (58.8%)
13. RHP Nathan Karns (36.4%)
14. LHP Blake Snell (57.9%)

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.

IF Tim Beckham (R/R, 6'0 195, 25 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Triple-A Durham: .258/.281/.290, 2 2B, 3.1 BB%, 21.5 K%

Clearly, Beckham's return from knee surgery was not very good. Barely getting 100 plate appearances in a season is probably the last thing he needed at this point in his career. He has to get experience playing other spots in the infield to prepare himself for a utility role and find a way to tap into his above average raw power in games.

Also, Buster Posey

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

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.

RHP Jose Dominguez (6'0 200, 24 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Triple-A Albuquerque: 33 1/3 IP, 3.24 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 11.9 BB%, 25.8 K%
2014 statistics with Los Angeles: 6 1/3 IP, 11.37 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 10.0 BB%, 26.7 K%

Dominguez was acquired from the Dodgers in the Joel Peralta deal, and he certainly adds some arm strength to the Rays' bullpen. In limited big league innings so far, his heater has averaged 97.9 MPH, and he has touched triple digits. He has to improve his breaking ball an throw more strikes, but the potential for a late-inning reliever is there.

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.

RHP Dylan Floro (6'2 175, 24 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: 178 2/3 IP, 3.48 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3.2 BB%, 15.0 K%

Floro won't blow anyone away with his stuff, but he pounds the strike zone and is a ground ball machine. He pitches to contact, but that can work with a good defense behind him. In 346 career minor league innings, he's only allowed eight home runs. Double-A is typically the test for pitchers with his profile, and he certainly appeared to have passed it.

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

OF Boog Powell (L/L, 5'10 185, 22 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Class A Beloit and Class A-Advanced Stockton: .343/.451/.435, 18 XBH, 16/31 SB, 16.0 BB%, 13.9 K%

Acquired in the Ben Zobrist trade, Powell had a breakout 2014 season, albeit clouded a bit by a PED suspension. Across those two levels and in a stint in the Arizona Fall League, he performed roughly the same. He offers consistent contact and a really patient approach. He has some speed, but his stolen base efficiency certainly doesn't reflect that.  Whether he can stay in center field or not is an open question.

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

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.

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.

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

RHP Cameron Varga (6'2 189, 20 in 2015)

2014 statistics with Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays and Rookie Princeton Rays: 33 1/3 IP, 3.78 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 5.8 BB%, 18.0 K%

After being drafted in the second round by the Rays, Varga pitched well enough in the GCL to get a late-season bump to Princeton. He has a good fastball and breaking ball, but as an older player against poor competition in high school, he still has a lot to prove.

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

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.