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Rays place five prospects on Baseball Prospectus Top-101

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LHP Blake Snell leads the way at No. 21 overall.

Blake Snell is awarded minor league player of the year before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.
Blake Snell is awarded minor league player of the year before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays have placed five prospects on Baseball Prospectus's annual Top-101 list:

Blake Snell (#21), Brent Honeywell (#52), Willy Adames (#54), Taylor Guerrieri (#84) and Daniel Robertson (#88) lead the way for prospects in the Rays system.

The Rays are starting to see dividends from the giant 2011 draft led by Snell and Guerrieri, combined with recent trade acquisitions in Adames and Robertson, and a nice piece of drafting in Honeywell.

Adames is the 10th highest ranked prospect on the list age-20 or younger, and the 13th highest shortstop.

Here are some quotes on each prospect from the to-be-published Baseball Prospectus annual:

Blake Snell, LHP (#21)

He also fanned 163 batters in 134 innings while giving up only 84 hits. The stuff more than matches the gaudy stats: Snell features a 92–94 mph fastball with excellent movement and life and pairs it with a plus slider and a potentially solid-average change.

Brent Honeywell, RHP (#52)

Honeywell is far from a one-trick pony, with a plus fastball and two other major-league-quality secondaries in his arsenal as well. That is a quality mid-rotation profile.

Willy Adames, SS (#54)

...it is easy to view his 2015 season (.258/.342/.379 in High-A) as a disappointment. But Adames will play the entire 2016 season as a 20-year-old, and the underlying skill set that makes him a potentially above-average regular at shortstop are still present.

Taylor Guerrieri, RHP (#84)

The fastball-curve combo both show up as plus, but given his durability issues and lack of an above-average future projection for the change, he may end up as a late-inning reliever.

Daniel Robertson, SS (#88)

He has the arm for third, but he has yet to show the over-the-fence power for a corner (outside of the Cal League, anyway). If he does find himself banished from shortstop, there still might be enough OBP and doubles power in the profile to carve out a career as a regular.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a major step forward for the Rays minor league system and shows the strength in upper level pitching and up the middle defense.

A year ago the top 101 only featured two Rays as Robertson (#66) and Adames (#94) were the only mentions.

Curiously, in the Rays Top-10 compiled earlier this off-season by Baseball Prospectus, OF Garret Whitley and SS Adrian Rondon appear ahead of SS Daniel Robertson, even though he appears in the Top-101 and they do not.

Both lists neglect 1B/OF prospect Jake Bauers, who is likely to be featured in other publications.