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2016 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 7

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The top prospect on last year's list tumbles to sixth after an injury interrupted his season

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Robertson won a special election to be placed first after he was acquired from the Rays. I might be inclined to put him a little higher, but it speaks to the depth the organization has right now.

1. LHP Blake Snell (95.2%)
2. SS Willy Adames (59.1%)
3. 1B/OF Jake Bauers (60.6% in runoff)
4. RHP Brent Honeywell (50.0%)
5. RHP Taylor Guerrieri (57.5%)
6. SS Daniel Robertson (64.3%)

C Chris Betts (L/R, 6'1 215, 19 in 2016)

2015 statistics: Did not play

A player as talented as Betts should not have been available to the Rays with the No. 52 pick, and he should not have taken until the deadline to sign. It was then revealed that he required Tommy John surgery, which will cost him the first half of the 2016 season. When healthy, he has the chance for above-average hit and power tools, which would stand out at catcher if he's able to stay behind the plate.

RHP Jacob Faria (6'4 200, 22 in 2016)

2015 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 149 2/3 IP, 1.92 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 8.9 BB%, 27.2 K%

On Faria, Baseball Prospectus quoted a scout saying, "the pitcher with the most upside in their system outside of Snell (and it’s not close)." That's not a surprise after his huge breakout season that featured more strikeouts than innings and three starts with double-digit strikeouts. He gets it done with control of his above-average fastball and changeup and could have an average breaking ball in the future.

OF Mikie Mahtook (R/R, 6'1 200, 26 in 2016)

2015 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 418 PA, .249/.304/.366, 34 XBH, 10-for-11 SB, 5.3 BB%, 23.4 K%
2015 statistics with Tampa Bay: 115 PA, .295/.351/.619, 9 HR, 5.2 BB%, 27.0 K%

Mahtook's 2015 was a tale of two seasons. In the minors, he looked nothing like the player he was with the Bulls just one season earlier. In the majors, he had the fourth-fewest at-bats per home run among players with more than 100 plate appearances. Despite the outburst, his power is typically graded around average, like his other tools. He provides versatility with enough energy, athleticism and arm strength to play all three outfield spots.


SS Adrian Rondon (R/R, 6'1 190, 17 in 2016)

2015 statistics with the GCL Rays: 164 PA, .166/.256/.234, 9 XBH, 10.4 BB%, 34.8 K%

Rondon's OPS was the second worst in the Gulf Coast League, but the good news is he was the second-youngest player in the league. He was also just one of three players in the organization born after the Devil Rays' first game. His stats were poor, but the tools, and his patient plate approach, were still there. He has above-average bat speed for a potential plus hit tool and average power. He could stick at shortstop.

3B Richie Shaffer (R/R, 6'3 220, 25 in 2016)

2015 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 457 PA, .267/.357/.539, 26 HR, 54 XBH, 11.8 BB%, 26.9 K%
2015 statistics with Tampa Bay: 88 PA, .189/.307/.392, 4 HR, 11.4 BB%, 36.4 K%

For 2013 and most of 2014, Shaffer's nondescript performance was not befitting of a first-round pick. After heating up in August with Montgomery, he picked up where he left off in 2015. In his Durham debut at the end of May, he hit two home runs, and a few weeks later, he socked three. He'll always strike out a bit, but he'll also walk and show plus power. He has enough arm to play third base and right field and can offer adequate play at all four corner positions.

IF Andrew Velazquez (S/R, 5'8 175, 21 in 2016)

2015 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 203 PA, .290/.343/.360, 11 XBH, 5-for-13 SB, 7.4 BB%, 26.1 K%

Velazquez came over with Justin Williams in the trade that sent Jeremy Hellickson to Arizona, but a broken hamate cost him a large part of the season. Whether it was the injury or not, he was not the same player in 2015. Most notably, he was poor on the bases, and his walk rate went down while his strikeout rate went up. After playing the outfield as an amateur, as a professional he's seen time all around the infield.

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 at the plate. Otherwise, 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.

OF Justin Williams (L/R, 6'2 215, 20 in 2016)

2015 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 490 PA, .277/.298/.394, 39 XBH, 7 HR, 6-for-8 SB, 2.9 BB%, 18.4 K%

Williams debuted in the Rays organization with an average 2015, carrying a combined 100 wRC+, but he is tearing up the Australian League this winter. Williams struggles heavily with his approach at the plate, which limits his ability to hit. Williams has plus raw power with the potential to have at least above average game power. Williams is a fringy fielder, even with a solid-average arm. He has fringe speed to mix with that, meaning he projects as a corner outfielder.