The Rays rank as the 13th best farm system in baseball, up from 17th and 20th over the past two seasons.
This year's comments were provided by John Manuel:
State of the System: Tampa's ever-active pro scouting department is getting a hand from amateur scouting after the 2015 breakthrough of lefthander Blake Snell, BA's 2015 Minor League Player of the Year, as well as homegrown arms such as Brent Honeywell, Taylor Guerrieri and Jacob Faria. Several of the Rays' top bats, such as shortstop Willy Adames and first baseman/left fielder Jake Bauers, are trade acquisitions.
Manuel then notes the best stocked position for the franchise is shortstop, noting Adrian Rondon and Jake Hager as worthwhile prospects at that position before moving on to the breakout candidate:
Breakout Candidate: The Rays picked up outfielder Justin Williams from the Diamondbacks in the Jeremy Hellickson deal, and the 2013 second-round pick has remained a raw, toolsy enigma. He gained momentum with 10 homers and a .342/.398/.582 slash line in 184 at-bats in the Australian Baseball League with Brisbane.
Williams was recently voted the 12th best prospect in the system, according to our ongoing community poll.
Previous to his breakout performance in winter ball, Williams was considered to have a poor approach at the plate, but with plus raw power that should eventually translate in-game. He projects as a corner outfielder, but is still too far off for us to definitively say how good he might be defensively.
Elsewhere in the rankings, the Rockies breakout candidate for 2016 is RHP German Marquez, who the Rays included in the Corey Dickerson trade in January.