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2018 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 5

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Jesus Sanchez was not challenged for the No. 4 spot in the organization.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Jesus Sanchez will call Charlotte Sports Park his home in 2018
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After a close vote for the No. 3 spot on our list, Jesus Sanchez won in a blowout for No. 4. It wasn’t the most lopsided vote we’ve had, but he did receive more votes in one poll than anyone has yet.

We’ll do Tuesday and Friday votes next week as well.

2018 Community prospect list

Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last season
Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last season
1 RHP Brent Honeywell 24 33 72.7% 2
2 SS Willy Adames 23 24 95.8% 1
3 1B/LHP Brendan McKay 16 34 47.1% N/A
4 OF Jesus Sanchez 26 35 74.3% 9
5 1B/OF Jake Bauers 29 39 74.4% 4
6 OF Justin Williams 24 35 68.6% 17
7 IF Christian Arroyo 19 38 50.0% N/A
8 OF Garrett Whitley 15 36 41.7% 15
9 LHP Anthony Banda Special election N/A
10 RHP Jose De Leon 15 33 45.5% 3
11 OF Joshua Lowe 13 30 43.3% 7
12 SS Lucius Fox 16 36 44.4% 13
13 SS Wander Franco 13 35 37.1% N/A
14 RHP Austin Franklin 17 33 51.5% 22
15 RHP Tobias Myers 11 32 34.4% N/A
16 2B Nick Solak Special election N/A
17 RHP Michael Mercado 7 27 25.9% N/A
18 1B/OF Joe McCarthy 9 33 27.3% 25
19 2B Brandon Lowe 7 31 22.6% N/R
20 RHP Chih-Wei Hu 8 28 28.6% 6
21 RHP Jaime Schultz 9 32 28.1% 12
22 C Ronaldo Hernandez 11 30 36.7% N/R
23 RHP Diego Castillo 9 25 36.0% 50
24 RHP Yonny Chirinos 12 28 42.9% 41
25 2B Vidal Brujan 10 28 35.7% N/R
26 RHP Ryne Stanek 8 25 32.0% 20
27 LHP Resly Linares 7 26 26.9% 47
28 LHP Genesis Cabrera 12 27 44.4% 23
29 3B Kevin Padlo 9 27 33.3% 14
30 LHP Ryan Yarbrough 13 29 44.8% 19
31 LHP Brock Burke N/R
32 RHP Drew Strotman N/A
33 SS Jermaine Palacios N/A
34 C Brett Sullivan 26
35 C Nick Ciuffo 24
36 OF Ryan Boldt 38
37 IF Carlos Vargas 27
38 3B Adrian Rondon 11
39 LHP Travis Ott 40
40 RHP Curtis Taylor N/A

IF Christian Arroyo (R/R, 6’1 180, 23 in 2018)

2017 statistics with San Francisco: 135 PA, .192/.244/.304, 8 XBH, 5.9 BB%, 30.5 K%
2017 statistics with Triple-A Sacramento: 102 PA, .396/.461/.604, 4 HR, 11 XBH, 5.9 BB%, 11.8 K%

The biggest problem for Arroyo in 2017 was likely not his struggles in his brief big league debut, but the hand injury that required surgery in November to address. He was hit in that hand twice during the season. Defensively, he should be able to handle second or third base, and he’ll need his hit tool to carry him. He’s not too selective, but he is a career .300 hitter in the minors. He has never hit more than nine home runs or stole more than seven bases in a season.

1B/OF Jake Bauers (L/L, 6’1 195, 22 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 575 PA, .263/.368/.412, 31 2B, 13 HR, 20-of-23 SB, 13.6 BB%, 19.5 K%

Like Willy Adames, Bauers’ 2017 season with Durham was very similar to his 2016 with Montgomery, although it is perhaps notable that his strikeout rate was a new career high. Despite that, his hit tool is still his best, and that’s what will get him to the majors. He’s able to wait for his pitch and make good contact. His 45 extra-base hits tied a career high, and he could have average power. After two seasons of experimentation in the outfield, he seems more and more like a regular first baseman.

SS Lucius Fox (S/R, 6’1 175, 20 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 476 PA, .266/.350/.341, 30-of-43 SB, 22 XBH, 9.5 BB%, 23.7 K%

After a rough pro debut with the Giants in 2016, Fox rebounded in his Rays organization debut, even earning a spot in the Futures Game. He batted .278 with a .361 on-base percentage with Bowling Green before a promotion to Charlotte, where he struggled as a 19 year old. He doesn’t have much power potential, so he’ll have to refine his approach and make more contact to better use his plus-plus speed, as he did with the Hot Rods. He has the physical tools necessary to stay at shortstop.

RHP Jaime Schultz (5’10 200, 27 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 11 23 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 8.0 BB%, 42.0 K%

Schultz almost certainly would’ve made his big league debut in 2017 had a persistent groin injury not sidelined him for much of the season. It was not the first groin injury of his career. In his limited work with Durham, he pitched out of the bullpen for the first time, and he was electric, striking out more than two batters out of every five he faced. If he throws strikes with his mid-90s fastball and plus breaking ball, he can be a dominant reliever.

OF Garrett Whitley (R/R, 6’1 195, 21 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 426 PA, .249.,362/.430, 13 HR, 35 XBH, 21-of-25 SB, 13.4 BB%, 28.6 K%

After his customary slow start to the season, Whitley showed off all of his tools with Bowling Green. The 2015 13th-overall pick is a great athlete with impressive power potential, hitting 10 of his 13 home runs over the season’s final two months. Although his walk rate is encouraging, his astronomical strikeout rate is going to have to come down at some point. While he spent most of 2017 in a corner outfield spot, he should have no problem playing center field.

OF Justin Williams (L/R, 6’2 215, 22 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: 409 PA, .301/.364/.489, 14 HR, 38 XBH, 9.0 BB%, 16.9 K%

If Williams developers into a quality big leaguer, his month of August in 2017 will be looked back on as the turning point of his career. He batted .333 with a .411 on-base percentage, eight home runs and 16 extra-base hits and even walked more than he struck out. He always had the swing and power potential to profile in a corner outfield spot — it’s a matter of being patient and waiting for his pitches. His walk 9.0 percent walk rate was by far the best in his career so far.