Minor league season starts in just a few days, so there is still time to squeeze in top-prospect rankings. FanGraphs' Dan Farnsworth did just that Monday, and he provides a lot of insight. Here are some highlights, and you should check out the whole piece because there's a ton of information to digest.
On the organization as a whole:
The Rays system has considerable upside and depth throughout its minor-league levels.
On top prospect Blake Snell:
Snell already has the ability to pitch in a big-league rotation because of his stuff, but it’s his command gains that will determine how high his abilities will go. If he comes out this year consistently with the same easy arm action he had for his best outings in 2015, he may be immediately ready to jump in near the top of the Rays’ rotation.
On No. 2 prospect Willy Adames:
Not only is he the best position prospect in the system, but he also has the potential to be one of the best position players currently in the minor leagues.
On No. 3 prospect Brent Honeywell:
Command of his four-pitch mix — three of which are at least above-average future offerings — an aggressive, confident approach to attacking hitters and an athletic delivery are what make him special.
On No. 4 prospect Taylor Guerrieri:
(H)e was able to show what he’s capable of if he can stay healthy: elite ground-ball rates, lots of strikes and legitimate strikeout potential to go with it.
On No. 5 prospect Kevin Padlo:
(E)very one of his tools profiles as at least average.
On No. 7 prospect Adrian Rondon:
Any criticism of Rondon’s 2015 season has to be taken with a huge block of salt. Though he is advanced skill-wise for his age, he still doesn’t turn 18 until July of this year, so to say he played against older competition is an understatement. Rondon flashed the tools that had him at or near the top of international class in 2014
On No. 11 prospect Taylor Motter:
(T)hat didn’t stop him from killing the ball in Triple-A last year while playing every position but first base and catcher. And of course, in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, he rounded out the year by manning first base for nine games.
On No. 12 prospect Jacob Faria:
I’m leaning toward him being a fourth starter with number-three upside, but it’s risky enough that I don’t want to put him in the 50+ group yet.
On No. 15 prospect Jake Bauers:
If he can make it work in the outfield, it really increases the chances that he can be stick with a big-league club, if only because of the pull to get more power out of the first-base position. If his plus hit-tool potential becomes reality, it won’t matter where he plays. He has enough borderline skill everywhere else to be worth a consistent spot in the lineup.
On No. 27 prospect Casey Gillaspie:
I keep trying to see Gillaspie as an above-average big-league hitter, but it’s just not clicking.
A number of his rankings deviate from what we've seen from other sources this offseason, but he brings a lot to the table to justify his thinking.