Rays Prospect Rankings: Personal Top 32 Rankings

With all of the lists out and all of the chips on the table as the season is set to begin, I felt it would be fun to put my own Top 32 Rays Prospects list out there. And no, this isn’t your normal or average oh-hum list.

This list has risks, some will turn out to be right, others will turn out to be wrong. The majority of the risks are past the top 10, but that’s where most fans have the most question marks, right?

I’d like to also encourage you to come back and take a look at the results once one more season is in the books. While it’s easy to react about what you think may be right or wrong today, it’s even more fun to look back on your comments and see which were bang on and which were outlandish.

Disclaimers: now that Austin Pruitt and Daniel Robertson have made the active roster, they were taken off the list. This list is entirely my own and does not reflect where other DRB writers would have ranked these players.

Here’s my Top 32 Rays Prospect list for 2017

1 Willy Adames

  • Not crazy enough to go anywhere else here. Really does have it all, and skeptics will regret being skeptics.

2 Brent Honeywell

  • You know the guy at the top is special when the second guy on the list has Ace potential, and that’s the case here with Honeywell. If he stays healthy, this guy’s going to lead the staff some day.

3 Jake Bauers

  • To be honest, I used to hold back on ranking him highly because I doubted the power would ever come enough to allow him to profile well in the corner OF positions. Well, I’m sold on that now and he’s showing us Joey Votto type patience at the plate, so I’m fully on board the "That Guy Bauers’" train.

4 Jose DeLeon

  • Why were the Dodgers so ready to move him? That’s what gives me pause. If a team is fully onboard with a starter’s potential, they rarely move him. Then again, the Jays dealt Noah Syndergaard, so there we are. Being 4th on this list is no slight to De Leon who has outstanding stuff and the potential to make a major impact in 2017.

5 Jesus Sanchez

  • Any time a young prospect performs and gets such rave reviews about his on and off-the-field performance the way Sanchez has, you can’t help but feel confident. Just how much power Sanchez develops will help determine his ceiling, but he’s done everything right so far.

6 Chih-Wei Hu

  • Still can’t believe some doubt his ability to start in the majors, but you never really do know until it happens, do you? This guy has the stuff and makeup to be a very solid No.3 pitcher and he’s going to make the Twins regret they gave him up some day soon.

7 Adrian Rondon

  • The Rays didn’t spend what they did on this guy for no reason. The talent is evident in his performance as a 17 year old in the Appy league and the fact that he’s handled skipping the DSL in such great fashion should not be overlooked. Look for him to top this list within a few years.

8 Casey Gillaspie

  • Anyone who can hit HRs from both sides of the plate at the rate Gillaspie can has to be intriguing. He’s going to have to prove his swing is quick enough to handle MLB pitching at 24 years old, and there’s reason to be optimistic after what we saw this spring.

9 Josh Lowe

  • At the same age as Sanchez and at the same level, Lowe struggled to hit for average which has me somewhat concerned, but did show average power.

10 Lucius Fox

  • Each MLB team seems to have a few players they sell us as being very athletic and quick-twitch athletes. Fox fits this description and many are hypercritical of his performance thus far because they want immediate results. I’m sticking with the athletic part and believe he’ll figure it out and gain traction in 2017.

11 Garrett Whitley

  • My 2017 breakout candidate, Whitley’s tools were sharpened throughout the 2016 seasons and it won’t surprise me to see him regain his 4-tool status as a prospect to watch.

12 Austin Franklin

  • Became one of everyone’s favourite new Rays prospect to rank highly, and I sadly can’t avoid jumping on that wagon. The potential is there, and although I want to remain cautiously optimistic, the talent is there for him to lead the next wave of arms.

13 Kevin Padlo

  • Just based on his defensive abilities alone, Padlo projects to get consideration as a MLB regular. Add in the power, and that profile gets even better.

14 Jacob Faria

  • If it weren’t for the control issues, Faria would be in my top 6. And if they move him to the pen, he could jump into the top 10. His stuff remains electric, and wherever he winds up there’s little doubt it’ll be on a Major League roster before long.

15 Ryne Stanek

  • The Rays decidedly place Stanek in the pen and they will reap the benefits of that decision in 2017. He’s electric, and if he learns to control that cannon some, he’s going to be at the back of the Rays pen before you know it.

16 Ryan Yarbrough

  • Don’t ask me how he missed the Fangraph list altogether, this guy’s an outstanding LHP who deserves more attention. He may wind up helping out in the pen, but I’d rather see him work towards becoming the second LHP in the Rays rotation.

17 Taylor Guerrieri

  • A more mature prospect at this point, I wish him all the best in making the best of his abilities because he has the ability to pitch, not just throw, his way through games.

18 Genesis Cabrera

  • How is this guy missing on top 30 lists? When a 19 year old southpaw throws as well as he did in LoA, you should take notice. He may need to add some size and strength to profile as a starter, but likely playing the entire season at 20 years old in HiA, he’s one prospect to watch.

19 Justin Williams

  • Projections are oddly enough still part of how we rate Williams at this point, but so be it. Still very young, the power is there to harness, and it may start to flourish in 2017.

20 Greg Harris

  • Just as with Faria, he’ll need to limit the walks, but the innings eating talent is there and he keeps getting hesitant praise despite really solid performances thus far.

21 Jaime Schultz

  • If the Rays use him effectively in the pen, he’s going to be a potent weapon at the back of the pen in 2017.

22 David Rodriguez

  • Although the Rays have a lot of catching talent coming through the lower to mid portion of the minors, Rodriguez gives them the best chance as one that rates above-average defensively as well as average offensively.

23 Rene Pinto

  • One of my wildcards here. Along with Brujan, Pinto represents a talent I believe many are overlooking or are unwilling to bank on heavily since they’re lower down in the minors and unknowns to this point. He improved steadily in 2016 and I’m banking on him being on all post-season Top 30 Rays Prospects lists.

24 Hunter Wood

  • Can miss bats with the rest of them, and may join the Rays pen at some point in 2017, providing another great option for Cash to use. May also help out in the rotation if needed, and some still believe he can start in the majors.

25 Diego Castillo

  • May need a lot more polish that some believe before he gets to the majors, but the velocity definitely makes him an intriguing arm. If Castillo reaches his ceiling along with Wood and Alvarado, he could help make the Rays pen one of the better pens in MLB.

26 Chris Betts

  • It takes a while to return to form post-injury. Betts put in some good work in 2016, but this season is when he should begin to regain his momentum as one of the better prospects in the system. May take the biggest leap forward on this list post-2017.

27 Vidal Brujan

  • Whatever you do in 2017, monitor Brujan’s play because he belongs on this list. You can read our thorough write up on him here. Unlike the main outlets, I’m going with risk here but I’m that high on his ceiling.

28 Brock Burke

  • Has a good enough change up to be effective vs both LHB and RHB, but it was his improved velocity (stemming from altered mechanics that added 8 MPH) in 2016 that set him up for success - now touching 95 MPH.

29 Jose Alvarado

  • Power arm from the left side, who needs that? Pretty sure every MLB team hunts for that, so as long as he can polish his arsenal, he’s going to get a look.

30 Michael Russell

  • While he’s played a lot of SS, Russell may profile best as a utility player should he make it to the majors. Profiling well at 3B and 2B, and already having spent time at 1B, he’s skilled enough to make it work and provide some great ABs while doing it. With his ability to steal bases, he’d be a positive asset in many ways. I’m hoping the Rays challenge him in 2017, possibly through 2 levels.

31 Joe McCarthy

  • It’s odd that we don’t hear more about McCarthy who has a very keen eye at the plate and projects to have both power and speed to draw from. Like Bauers, he’s bouncing between 1B and LF. Having just turned 23 in February, he’ll get a chance to prove he can handle AA pitching, and if he does he could surprise many who haven’t hear his name.

32 Brett Sullivan

  • Position changes are never easy, and Sullivan should get leeway as a result. The reviews about his work behind the plate were positive, so let’s see how he can add to that in 2017.

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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