Welcome to the 2016 edition of the community prospect list! For five straight years, we've held these polls to create a consensus top prospect list for the fanbase.
Here are the rules established by our previous host, Michael:
You may remember runoffs in previous years taking place when votes were close between two players. We decided during last offseason's list that it would be best to only do runoffs when there is a tie.
My intention is to start a new poll every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, starting next week.
It should be another interesting year of voting. We'll start with seven prospects to choose from.
SS Willy Adames (R/R, 6'1 180, 20 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 456 PA, .258/.342/.379, 34 XBH, 10-for-11 SB, 11.8 BB%, 27.0 K%
As the third-youngest player in the Florida State League, Adames' first full season in the organization was a solid one. He has a superior plate approach compared to other hitters at his age, but at some point, he will have to cut down on his strikeouts. He has potential for five average-or-better tools, but an elbow injury that ended his season prematurely is something to keep in mind for 2016.
1B Jake Bauers (L/L, 6'1 195, 20 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 534 PA, .272/.342/.418, 45 XBH, 9.4 BB%, 13.9 K%
Bauers was certainly not the focus of last winter's three-team trade with the Rays, Padres and Nationals, but he has quietly emerged as a solid prospect. He has a great approach, and while his future power production is up in the air, his ISO improved by 28 points. He's a good defender at first base, but an experiment in the outfield in the Arizona Fall League could really improve his stock.
RHP Taylor Guerrieri (6'3 195, 23 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 78 IP, 1.85 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.9 BB%, 22.4 K%
Guerrieri missed April easing back from 2013 Tommy John surgery, and he was able to return in strong form. He limited his walks and struck out an above-average number of batters, leading to his 1.85 ERA for the season. He has an above-average to plus fastball that sits 91-95 and an above-average curve as well. He has worked in a changeup as well, but as of now it is fringy.
RHP Brent Honeywell (6'2 180, 21 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 130 1/3 IP, 3.18 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 5.1 BB%, 24.6 K%
Honeywell is known for his screwball, but he's far more than a one-trick pony. While many young pitchers have trouble with control, his athleticism allows him to repeat his delivery and pound the strike zone. His low-90s fastball could still improve as he gets stronger, and he already has no problem striking out batters. His breaking ball and changeup could also be above-average pitches.
SS Daniel Robertson (R/R, 6'1 205, 22 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: 347 PA, .274/.363/.415, 29 XBH, 2-for-5 SB, 9.5 BB%, 16.7 K%
Robertson's season was hampered by a broken hamate bone that took him 1 1/2 months to recover from. Still, he finished 2015 with a 123 wRC+. Robertson is a hit-first shortstop, and profiles as a contact hitter who will hit some home runs here and there. His speed is fringy but his glove and arm are both solid-average.
LHP Blake Snell (6'4 180, 23 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte, Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 134 IP, 1.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 10.2 BB%, 31.3 K%
Snell emerged as one of the minors' top pitchers in 2015, dominating three levels and putting himself on the cusp of reaching the majors, thanks in large part to improved control. He has to continue that improvement to reach his ceiling, which is quite high with three potential plus pitches: his low-to-mid 90s fastball, slider and changeup.
OF Garrett Whitley (R/R, 6'0 200, 19 in 2016)
2015 statistics with the GCL Rays and short-season Hudson Valley: 164 PA, .174/.293/.312, 10 XBH, 8-for-13 SB, 12.8 BB%, 22.6 K%
Whitley was the Rays' first-round pick at No. 13 overall. He struggled at the plate in his initial season, finishing with an average of .174. He received criticisms on his inability to hit for average before the draft. Whitley does have above average raw power as well. However, Whitley has a plus speed and an above-average arm, making him a solid player defensively. His stock rides on the development of his hit tool.