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2017 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 9

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A young outfielder joins the top 10

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Because of all of the discussion surrounding Lucius Fox, I added him to the poll. I took two of the first three testers posted as well. David Rodriguez was first, and Supreme Leader Danny nominated two Cabreras. Facing a difficult choice, I chose the Cabrera whose name did not feature any typos.

Unless noted otherwise, I’ll take up to three testers per poll, so if your pick didn’t get in this poll, just try again here.

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%

LHP Genesis Cabrera (6'1 170, 20 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 116 IP, 3.88 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 9.8 BB%, 19.6 K%

As one of the 10 youngest pitchers in the Midwest League, and second youngest to throw 100-plus innings, Cabrera enjoyed a solid 2016 season with the Hot Rods. According to 2080 Baseball, his fastball touches the mid-90s with a promising breaking ball and changeup. He struggled down the stretch, which could certainly be a result of fatigue, as he set a career high in innings by 86 2/3 frames. He should cut down on his walks a bit, but he wasn't hopelessly wild.

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.

SS Lucius Fox (S/R, 6'1 175, 19 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class-A Augusta: 331 PA, .207/.305/.277 SLG, 12 XBH, 25-for-32 SB, 11.2 BB%, 23.0 K%

Fox was originally signed by San Francisco, but the Rays' acquisition of him gives the organization a top international prospect from consecutive signing periods, along with Adrian Rondon. After a pro debut in full-season ball that proved too ambitious, a bone bruise prevented him from ever suiting up for his new organization. Hopefully that doesn't affect his plus-or-better speed moving forward, which helps him on the bases and will keep him up the middle of the diamond. His approach needs some work, and that would help him make more contact.

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.

C David Rodriguez (R/R, 6'1 215, 21 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 472 PA, .240/.321/.349, 26 XBH, 9 HR, 9.3 BB%, 18.6 K%

Rodriguez threw out an absurd 56 percent of attempted basestealers, and he has the potential to develop into a contributor both at and behind the plate. Like many young catchers, he still has to clean up his mechanics defensively, but that should come with more experience. In the batter's box, he owns a patient approach and puts his bat on the ball. He does have a bit of power potential.

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.

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.