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2017 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 28

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Carlos Vargas hasn’t played a game in the U.S. yet, but he is on our top-30 list

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Carlos Vargas was a part of the return in the Drew Smyly trade
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’re entering our final week of voting, and there are three spots left on the list to decide.

I know I said I closed testers, but there was some good discussion about Greg Harris. I thought he had to be on the poll. No more players, for real this time.

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%

C Chris Betts (L/R, 6'2 215, 20 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Gulf Coast League Rays and short-season Hudson Valley: 145 PA, .179/.345/.250, 6 2B, 18.6 BB%, 24.8 K%

After Tommy John surgery delayed his pro debut by a year, Betts took to the field in 2016 and had a hard time. It's not a surprise that a player who missed as much time as he did would have a hard time getting his timing down. As an amateur, he showed plus power potential with a smooth swing geared for contact. He has the arm strength to catch, but he's raw behind the plate and could eventually prove to be too big for the position.

OF Eleardo Cabrera (L/R, 5'11 195, 21 in 2017)

2016 statistics with rookie-level Princeton: 270 PA, .311/.375/.466, 7 HR, 21 XBH, 8-for-12 SB, 6.3 BB%, 27.0 K%

Cabrera burst onto the domestic-league scene in 2016 with a strong season for Princeton. He led the Appalachian League in hits, tied for the league lead in homers and was among the team leaders in many offensive categories. However, it's his strong arm and outfield defense that are his calling cards. He makes good contact and has some speed, but he has to work on his approach.

SS Jake Cronenworth (L/R, 6'1 185, 23 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 506 PA, .282/.389/.386, 29 XBH, 14-for-22 SB, 13.2 BB%, 16.4 K%

The Rays surprised many when they drafted Cronenworth in the seventh round of the 2015 draft with the intention of dispatching him as a position player, but he's showed why ever since. He also spent 2016 shortstop full-time for the first time, and he was named the best defensive player at the position in the Midwest League (BA, $). He has a great plate approach and makes a ton of contact with gap-to-gap power. He struggled in a stint with Charlotte, and he'll have to prove it was a fluke in 2017.

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.

OF Jake Fraley (L/L, 6'0 195, 22 in 2017)

2016 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 239 PA, .238/.339/.364, 7 3B, 33-for-42 SB, 10.9 BB%, 14.2 K%

Fraley's pro career got off to an atrocious start, but a scorching August that saw him collect 12 of his 17 extra-base hits created a much more respectable stat line. Whether he was hitting or not, he was stealing bases whenever he had the chance. He only needed 55 games to lead the entire organizations in steals. His speed also makes him a very good defender in center field. He has to maintain his patient approach at the plate and excel at putting the ball in play to fully utilize his athleticism.

RHP Kevin Gadea (6'5 188, 22 in 2017)

2016 statistics with the Arizona League Mariners and Class-A Clinton: 68 2/3 IP, 2.36 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 5.0 BB%, 34.2 K%

For the first time in seven years, the Rays made a pick in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft, and their choice was Gadea. He's relatively new to pitching, but he has no problem pounding the strike zone with all of his pitches. He has a mid-90s fastball and complements it with a nice changeup. His breaking ball is improving. Jumping from the Midwest League to the majors is a lot to ask, but he does have the stuff that could make hiding him in the bullpen worth a shot.

RHP Greg Harris (6'2 170, 22 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Triple-A Durham: 150 IP, 3.24 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 10.0 BB%, 23.0 K%

Harris has quietly been a solid pitcher for the Rays since they acquired him two offseasons ago in the trade that sent Joel Peralta to the Dodgers. He pitches in the low 90s with movement, and he does a great job keeping the ball in the park. His changeup is his best pitch, and he regularly has more success against left-handed hitters. His curveball is his third pitch. He needs to throw more strikes, but he's not totally out of control.

OF Nathan Lukes (L/R, 5'11 185, 22 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class-A Lake County, Class A-Advanced Lynchburg and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 487 PA, .282/.349/.414, 37 XBH, 15-for-24 SB, 8.2 BB%, 15.2 K%

Lukes was acquired from Cleveland when it traded for HBP King Brandon Guyer. He was only hit by six pitches in 2016, but he does have some other skills. He has enough athleticism to play all three outfield spots and steal some bags, but he wasn't particularly efficient in 2016. There won't be many dingers coming off his bat, but his patient, contact-oriented approach give him value at the plate.

RHP Easton McGee (6'6 220, 19 in 2017)

2016 statistics with the Gulf Coast League Rays: 23 1/3 IP, 3.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 8.2 BB%, 14.3 K%

McGee is reportedly decently polished for a high-school pitcher, and his solid walk rate in his brief pro debut bears that out. He already has an average fastball and has the potential to add a few more ticks as he gets stronger, and he'll get ground balls thanks to the downhill plane he works with due to his size. Both his curveball and changeup need some work, but that's the case for nearly every young pitcher.

LHP Travis Ott (6'4 170, 22 in 2017)

2016 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 59 1/3 IP, 1.06 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 7.9 BB%, 26.9 K%

Ott owned the New York-Penn League in 2016, and he was rewarded with the start in the league's All-Star Game as a result. In his third full pro season, he still only has 10 1/3 innings in a full-season league, and none since 2014. With an average fastball and breaking ball, he takes advantage of a deceptive delivery to keep hitters off balance.

RHP Austin Pruitt (5'11 165, 27 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 162 2/3 IP, 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP,, 4.1 BB%, 22.7 K%

Despite his short stature and below-average fastball velocity, Pruitt has been successful at every level in his professional career. He gets it done with great control; his walk percentage was 11th in minor league baseball among pitchers with 150-plus innings. With his above-average breaking ball and changeup, he's able to mix up his pitches and keep batters off-balance, but he had a little trouble keeping the ball in the park in 2016.

RHP Michael Santos (6'4 205, 22 in 2017)

2016 statistics with Class-A Augusta: 58 2/3 IP, 2.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2.1 BB%, 18.6 K%

Of the three players the Rays received in the Matt Moore trade, one hardly played with his new organization, and two didn't play at all. Santos is half of that duo due to a line drive that stuck his head while still in the Giants organization. When he's healthy, he throws a lot of strikes with a four-pitch arsenal, led by his above-average fastball. His curveball, slider and changeup are still inconsistent, and he has to build up a workload after missing most of the 2015 season with arm soreness.