Keith Law released his mid-season Top 50 prospects today, and as always it's a point of conversation. It's the third major mid-season update to be released, following Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America, each of which named three Rays.
36. RHP Taylor Guerrieri
Guerrieri is all the way back from 2013 Tommy John surgery both in terms of stuff (low-to-mid-90s fastball with a curveball that shows plus) and control (has yet to walk more than one batter in any of his 10 outings of three to four innings), and he should be ready to move to Double-A soon and start to pitch deeper into games...
These are strong reports for the former first round draft pick, and a pleasant surprise out of the list. This morning, Scott has the update of Guerrieri's first attempt at five innings of work went in High-A. Spoiler: He only lasted 3 2/3.
As a proponent of the "issues" that plagued Guerrieri off the field (hint: mary jane), it's important to note that Law now says, "the makeup questions that caused him to fall to the Rays in the 2011 draft are behind him now."
38. LHP Blake Snell
... plus changeup, along with a slider that will reach above-average. His command continues to gradually improve, while his control has come a long way...
At the start of the season, Law mentioned Snell as a "sleeper" after ranking the top ten, and he points that out in the piece as well. It might be more fair to say Snell is the No. 11 on the list, and Hak-Ju Lee's ranking is merely for pedigree of previous rankings, but that's fine. His evidence for the high ranking now is evidenced by improved rates on the mound.
45. SS Willy Adames
... His raw power hasn't come through, as the Florida State League is a bad place for power and Port Charlotte exacerbates the problem, but he continues to play adequate defense at short and his mental approach is good. Even if he moves to third base, he projects to have the pop to be a solid regular or better.
As I boldly predicted last off-season, Adames continues to place in Top-50's now that scouts are getting a longer look. Adequate defense at short is a good thing.
A few important items of note in this list.
First would be the absence of SS Daniel Robertson and C Justin O'Conner, who were on top of Law's pre-season top ten for the Rays, and the only Tampa Bay system representatives in his Top-100. Perhaps the absence of Robertson is a product of his broken hamate bone, but neither even make the seven honorable mentions.
Second are the presence of SS Trea Turner at No. 16, and RHP Joe Ross at No. 28. These were the two prospects the Rays sent to Washington for OF Steven Souza Jr. and LHP Travis Ott.
Previously: Rays place three on Baseball Prospectus Mid-Season Top-50