Casey Gillaspie was a fast riser. He appeared in just three polls before rising to the top, like Mikie Mahtook before him.
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%)
7. RHP Jacob Faria (69.0%)
8. 3B Richie Shaffer (64.9%)
9. OF Garrett Whitley (44.7%)
10. OF Mikie Mahtook (39.0%)
11. 1B Casey Gillaspie (42.1%)
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.
2B Ryan Brett (R/R, 5'9 180, 24 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 354 PA, .247/.288/.354, 24 XBH, 4-for-7 SB, 4.2 BB%, 18.1 K%
2015 statistics with Tampa Bay: 4 PA, 2 H, 1 BB
Brett made his big league debut early in the season before injuring his shoulder and joining scores of teammates on the DL. Whether it was the injury or not, he was not the same player when he returned, posting career worsts across the board. If it was just a blip, he has quick hands to make good contact with a decent plate approach to help him get on base. He's a good runner, adequate defender and saw time in center field with Durham.
RHP German Marquez (6'1 185, 21 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 139 IP, 3.56 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 4.9 BB%, 17.5 K%
The selling point for Marquez is his fastball-curve combo, combining a low-to-mid-90s fastball and above-average curveball. Marquez has a changeup as well which can look average at times. Marquez has made strides with his control over the past year, lowering his walk rate to 4.9%. At Charlotte, he also took steps to adjust his delivery, adding a hip turn that keeps him in line with the plate. His biggest struggle has been allowing hits, and his 1.27 WHIP indicates that the issue has yet to be alleviated.
UT Taylor Motter (R/R, 6'1 195, 26 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 558 PA, .292/.366/.471, 58 XBH, 14 HR, 26-for-34 SB, 10.2 BB%, 17.0 K%
Motter continued his trend of above-average seasons as he progresses through the minor leagues, spending the entire year at Triple A. Motter flashes power with a second straight season of double-digit home run numbers. What may carry him to the majors is his versatility in the field; he has played all three outfield spots as well as second and third along with his primary shortstop designation. He could break camp with the team next season, but is equally as likely he ends up in Durham to start the season.
C Justin O'Conner (R/R, 6'0 190, 24 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: 444 PA, .231/.255/.371, 39 XBH, 9 HR, 10-for-12 SB, 2.9 BB%, 29.1 K%
After a breakout 2014 season at the plate, O'Conner struggled in 2015 as Double-A pitchers took advantage of his aggressive plate approach. While he has power potential, he has a hard time just making enough contact in games to show it. Still, he has a chance to make the majors thanks to his 80-grade arm and improving overall defense behind the plate.
LHP Enny Romero (6'3 215, 25 in 2016)
2015 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 46 1/3 IP, 4.86 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 8.5 BB%, 22.4 K%
2015 statistics with Tampa Bay: 30 IP, 5.10 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 9.3 BB%, 22.1 K%
It was long assumed that Romero would eventually transition to a relief role, and that's how he got most of his work in 2015, making just two starts out of 40 appearances between the Triple-A and big league clubs. He was able to post some of the best strikeout and walk rates in his career with his fastball that averaged over 96 mph and an average breaking ball.
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.
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 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.