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2017 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 5

Casey Gillaspie made it back-to-back first basemen

The Casey Gillaspie pic is back
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Casey Gillaspie followed up Jake Bauers with a very comfortable win, but where will those votes go next? A battle could be brewing to decide the organization’s second-best pitching prospect.

I’ll accept up to two testers this vote.

2017 Community Prospect List

Player Votes Total Percentage
Player Votes Total Percentage
SS Willy Adames 22 35 62.9%
RHP Brent Honeywell 36 37 97.3%
RHP Jose De Leon
1B/OF Jake Bauers 22 38 57.9%
1B Casey Gillaspie 24 34 70.6%
RHP Chih-Wei Hu 16 38 42.1%
3B Joshua Lowe* 20 32 62.5%
RHP Jacob Faria 24 41 58.5%
OF Jesus Sanchez 19 37 51.4%
IF Daniel Robertson 15 34 44.1%
IF Adrian Rondon 16 40 40.0%
RHP Jaime Schultz 13 43 30.2%
SS Lucius Fox 11 32 34.4%
3B Kevin Padlo 10 37 27.0%
OF Garrett Whitley 13 36 36.1%
RHP Hunter Wood 12 37 32.4%
OF Justin Williams 17 39 43.6%
RHP Taylor Guerrieri 15 31 48.4%
LHP Ryan Yarbrough 26 38 68.4%
RHP Ryne Stanek 14 35 40.0%
C David Rodriguez 14 32 43.8%
RHP Austin Franklin 10 32 31.3%
LHP Genesis Cabrera 9 30 30.0%
C Nick Ciuffo 12 34 35.3%
OF Joe McCarthy* 25 34 73.5%
C Brett Sullivan 10 37 27.0%
IF Carlos Vargas 11 36 30.6%
OF Jake Fraley 17 37 45.9%
RHP Kevin Gadea 16 36 44.4%
C Chris Betts 13 31 41.9%

RHP Jacob Faria (6'4 200, 23 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 151 IP, 3.99 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 11.0 BB%, 25.3 K%

While the bevy of early picks in the 2011 draft isn't working out as well as the Rays hoped, it could be their 10th-rounder, Faria, who helps salvage the class. As he's gotten older and stronger, his stuff has gotten better, and his fastball now sits in the low-90s. His changeup is his top secondary offering, but his curveball is inconsistent. While his stuff has gotten better, his walk rate has also climbed.

OF Johnny Field (R/R, 5'10 180, 25 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 491 PA, .273/.322/.453, 51 XBH, 12 HR, 16-for-24 SB, 6.1 BB%, 21.6 K%

After losing Tyler Goeddel and Joey Rickard in last year's Rule 5 draft, the Rays risked losing another right-handed-hitting outfielder this time around, but they were able to retain Field. He has already had a lot of success in the upper minors with a .776 OPS in nearly 1,000 plate appearances at Double A and Triple A. He may not stand out tools-wise, but he's a grinder who can fake it in center field and show some gap power.

RHP Chih-Wei Hu (6'1 230, 23 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 147 1/3 IP, 2.75 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 6.3 BB%, 18.9 K%

Hu earned a spot in the Futures Game with a strong 2016 season. He throws a lot of strikes, and they're quality strikes. His palmball stands out in his deep arsenal, but recent reports indicate that pitch has been put on the back burner in favor of a conventional changeup. His low-90s fastball plays up in short stints like in the Futures Game. He has a couple fringy breaking balls.

3B Joshua Lowe (L/R, 6'4 190, 19 in 2017)

2016 statistics with the Gulf Coast League Rays and rookie-level Princeton: 214 PA, .249/.374/.405, 14 XBH, 5 HR, 17.3 BB%, 27.6 K%

Lowe's pro career got off to a poor start, but he quickly rebounded and was named a top-20 prospect by Baseball America in both leagues he played in. With good bat speed and room on his frame to add strength, he has the power projection of a classic hot-corner profile. Eventually, those strikeouts will have to come down. As a successful pitcher, he has a strong arm and has the athleticism to play in the outfield if third base doesn't work out.

3B Kevin Padlo (R/R, 6'2 205, 20 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 509 PA, .229/.358/.413, 16 HR, 41 XBH, 14-for-23 SB, 15.5 BB%, 26.3 K%

Padlo was acquired in the minor league portion of last year's trade that sent Jake McGee to Colorado, and his second attempt at full-season ball was much better than his first, despite a slow start. He already hits for power, particularly to his pull side with many of his home runs going to straightaway left field. He should play above-average defense with a strong arm. Perhaps he could hit for a higher average if he got a little more aggressive early in counts.

IF Daniel Robertson (R/R, 6'1 205, 23 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 511 PA, .259/.358/.356, 29 XBH, 11.4 BB%, 19.6 K%

Since a hand injury in 2015, Robertson has kind of muddled along at the plate. For a player with his feel for contact, it's disappointing to bat just .259, which was his worst average since his pro debut season. He did, though, finish the season hot, batting .282 with a .425 OBP and 10 extra-base hits in his final 23 games. His power will likely be limited to mostly doubles. He got more experience playing third base and second base in addition to his usual shortstop in 2016.

SS Adrian Rondon (R/R, 6'1 190, 18 in 2017)

2016 statistics with rookie-level Princeton: 210 PA, .249/.301/.430, 19 XBH, 7 HR, 6.2 BB%, 27.6 K%

Rondon's pro debut as a 16-year-old in 2016 was poor, but he followed up with a much better sophomore season. He really showed off his power potential and cut down on his strikeouts. However, he still has a lot of work to do in that regard and could stand to make more contact. He began playing third base in instructs which could be where he ultimately ends up as he grows older.

OF Jesus Sanchez (L/R, 6'2 185, 19 in 2017)

2016 statistics with the Gulf Coast League Rays and rookie-level Princeton: 226 PA, .329/.351/.549, 25 XBH, 7 HR, 4.0 BB%, 19.0 K%

Adrian Rondon headlined the Rays' 2014 international class, but Sanchez could be his equal now. He has the power potential and arm to profile at any position in the outfield, so it's not the end of the world if he moves off center field. Unlike a lot of young hitters, it's not all projection for him; he came to the U.S. in 2016 and kept on hitting. He's a decent athlete. At some point, he may need to become more patient, but his approach hasn't hurt him yet.

RHP Jaime Schultz (5'10 200, 26 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 130 2/3 IP, 3.58 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 12.3 BB%, 29.5 K%

For most of 2016, Schultz was in much more control than usual, and that's always been the key to his development. He has two plus-or-better pitches which have allowed him to strike out 160-plus batters in consecutive seasons. After leading the minors in walks in 2015, he cut down quite a bit but still has work to do. He has missed time with injuries as a professional and amateur, so he still has time to straighten out his mechanics and stick in the rotation.

CF Garrett Whitley (R/R, 6'1 205, 20 in 2017)

2016 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 292 PA, .266/.356/.379, 21-for-26 SB, 20 XBH, 10.3 BB%, 25.7 K%

After a poor pro debut and rough start to 2016, anxiety began to set in among fans in regard to Whitley, but with a July stretch of hits in eight of nine games sparked the raw outfielder to a nice finish. He's patient, but he needs to cut down on his strikeouts to tap into his offensive tools. His impressive bat speed gives him plus power potential, and he has the athleticism and arm to be an above-average center fielder.

OF Justin Williams (L/R, 6'2 215, 21 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 358 PA, .295/.318/.447, 30 XBH, 10 HR, 3.1 BB%, 15.6 K%

It feels like Williams has been around forever already, but he was only 17 when Arizona drafted him in 2013. Long dinged for his aggressive plate approach, he's now in the upper minors, where we'll get a better idea of if he can make it work. He started tapping into his very good power potential a little more with Montgomery, and despite that approach, he regularly makes hard contact and doesn't strike out a lot. He can probably be an average defensive corner outfielder.