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Keith Law’s Top 10 Rays Prospect List

Willy Adames, Brent Honeywell, and Jose De León lead Law’s Top 10 Rays Prospects.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Keith Law’s Top 10 Prospects for the AL and NL East Teams were released this morning at ($) which included the Tampa Bay Rays.

  1. Willy Adames, SS (#43)
  2. Brent Honeywell, RHP (#54)
  3. Jose De León, RHP (#73)
  4. Chih-Wei Hu, RHP
  5. Jacob Faria, RHP
  6. Jamie Schultz, RHP
  7. Lucius Fox, SS
  8. Jake Bauers, 1B
  9. Casey Gillaspie, 1B
  10. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP
  11. Josh Lowe, OF
  12. Adrian Rondon, 3B
  13. Jesus Sanchez, OF
  14. Daniel Robertson, UI
  15. Michael Santos, RHP
  16. Garrett Whitley, OF
  17. Chris Betts, C

The Rays depend on their farm system as much as any team, but years of poor drafts have left them at a real disadvantage, something they’ve managed to get around only with some shrewd trades. That said, their past few drafts are starting to bear fruit, they have a pair of very promising Latin American teenagers, and they’ve aimed for a bit more upside in recent deals. So there’s some quiet upside here -- it could be a top-15 system in a year, maybe better with a strong draft. - Keith Law

Three of the top four prospects were acquired via trade and five of the top eight have been brought into the organization via trade. One thing the Rays have done well in recent trades is identify the young talent to include as supplemental pieces to recent trades. When they acquired the likes of Willy Adames, Chih-Wei Hu, and Jake Bauers they were not as well received as they are after continuing to develop in the Rays system.

The first big surprise is Jamie Schultz coming in at number six saying “he’s a 5-foot-10 right-hander without the command or the changeup to start, and probably profiles better as a high-leverage reliever.” Now he wasn’t even close to coming in his top 100, but he also says he won’t even consider any pitcher for his top 100 if he thinks they are a reliever long term.

Law is low on Jake Bauers, because he sees him being limited to first base. The ones who love Bauers think he’ll play a passable right field, so it’s not really a surprise to see him this low if you think he’s limited to first base.

The second big surprise is Michael Santos making the list at 17. He was the third piece acquired in the Matt Moore trade. Law says, “Michael Santos (15) is a lanky, projectable right-hander with heat that sits in the low 90s and a true curveball, a potential No. 4 starter who’s had trouble staying healthy -- he has yet to throw more than 60 innings or make more than 12 starts in a season.”

Kevin Padlo, as well as 2016 draft picks Ryan Boldt, Austin Franklin, Easton McGee, and Zach Trageton all receive a mention in the “others of note” section.

Law feels Jose De León would be an upgrade over Matt Andriese in the rotation today and Casey Gillaspie should get a shot at first no later than June, which means he has a major league projection despite being ranked ninth by Law.

Overall it’s a list that has most of the usual suspects that have populated other lists produced around the industry, but with a few twists.