We're in the midst of prospect week right now. At this point, you've already read:
- The DRayBay Community Prospect list
- Scott's (our minor league editor's) list
- Ian's list, based on Chris St. John's JAVIER projection system
Friend-of-the-site Jason Hanselman, who runs Dock of the Rays, has also completed his top-30 prospect list. He's a thoughtful dude and it's a thoughtful list, so check it out. At the end of the week, we'll include it in our aggregate of prospect lists, because the combination of quality lists will always almost be better than any one list.
I won't spoil the whole thing, but here are a few of the more intriguing tidbits:
A guy I had pretty high who didn't make Jason's list.
35: Burch Smith, 25, AAA, RHRP
Still a starter, but all signs point to a future in the pen where his deception will help and his stuff will play up. He looks like a busted prospect that will be going under the knife soon. Maybe that will help get him back to what he was a few years ago when he had some shine.
A guy who didn't make my list who Jason has pretty high:
19: Jaime Schultz, 24, A+, RHSP
Stuff is not the issue for Schultz as he can throw a peanut through a rhino. Guy’s got a plus fastball that he pairs with a solid-average slider that he loses the feel for over the course of a start. In fact, he needs to tighten up his control across the board, which might be tough as a less tall starter working on a lower, flatter plane. I think he ultimately becomes a pretty nice reliever, but I don’t want to give up the ghost of starting until we’re given a reason. The Rays ran him out to the Arizona Fall League where he was mostly electric. I think he can go either way right now so this year will be telling. I’ve got him starting the year in Charlotte, but I could easily see him promoted to Montgomery sometime this season where he will finish out the year. That will only happen if he comes out the gates soaring. Here’s hoping.
A guy that people rarely seem to agree on:
6: Nate Karns, 27, AAA, RHSP
Flip a coin between him and Colome. Honestly, go do it. The exact opportunity that is afforded to Colome is also on the table for Karns as a guy with nothing left to prove in AAA. In his favor is the fact that he’s the only one actually in the country known as the Goddamn United States of America, to date, while Colome floats around a holding cell in his native lands. Without further refinement of his change up he remains a two-pitch pitcher. The fastball is borderline plus plus and the curveball is only a notch behind, but as we’ve harped on time and time again with Chris Archer (who I’d grade both of his pitches as better) it’s just so very difficult to get by on two offerings. Add in some real issues with the walk (read: lefties, due to the lack of a change) and it’s easy to see him as a reliever. If the change just doesn’t take I’d love to see him develop the cutter to be able to get in the kitchen of southpaws and keep them honest. In the mean time I think he’s a guy that has really good starts when both pitches are sharp, but is prone to the blow up when he lacks the feel for one or the other or faces a lineup stacked with lefties. HI, BUCK!
Make sure to read the whole thing here.