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Rays Top 50 Prospects: No. 32, OF Ryan Boldt

Credit - Nick Musial (@bigmusephotography)

There are players on our list that we wished could have shown just a bit more in order to reach new heights in the rankings, and this one fits the bill. At least he remained healthy and showed enough for us to cross our fingers that he’ll take another step forward in 2018.

No.32, OF Ryan Andrew Boldt, 23 yrs old

Born: Nov 22nd, 1994 in Red Wing, MN

Height/Weight: 6’2” 210 lbs Bats/Throws: L/R

Signed: by the Rays in 2016 for $997,500 after being selected in the 2nd round

Twitter handle: @ryanboldt21

Twitter profile statement:Outfielder in the Tampa Bay Rays Organization. Former Nebraska Cornhusker.”

Baseball America Rankings

  • Ranked 70th among draft prospects before the 2016 MLB draft
  • Ranked 22nd among Rays prospects after the 2016 season
  • Ranked 18th among FSL prospects post-2017

DRB Writers ranking

  • High: 23rd
  • Low: 45th

Ryan Boldt: Abilities

  • Scouting grades (Pipeline 2017): Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 45 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
  • Praised for a quick first step in the OF
  • Plus Speed
  • Raw power many rate as high as 50, but in game power as high as 30/40
  • Abilities notes: The 2017 season was a major leap forward for Boldt for one main reason - health. Scouts had been waiting to see him put a healthy season together, and he made great strides throughout the season as well, combining to provide hopes he can take his game up to another level in 2018.

Joined the Rays by way of....

  • The 2016 MLB draft. He had previously been selected by the Red Sox (22nd rd) where he wasn’t signed, in part due to a torn meniscus in his right knee, something that weighed on his draft status and bonus potential.
  • Boldt was selected in the 2nd round, just before high-ranking prospects such as Nolan Jones (CLE), Bryan Reynolds (SF, now PIT), and Bo Bichette (TOR), to name a few.

Latest Transaction: April 4th, 2017, assigned to Charlotte Stone Crabs from HV Renegades.

Note - It seems inevitable that Boldt will head to AA for 2018 and continue to be paired with Jake Fraley in the OF, likely keeping him in one of the two corner OF spots for the majority of his playing time.

Credit - Nick Musial (@bigmusephotography)

Facts, Honors, and Awards

  • Made the post-season all-star team within the FSL in 2017
  • Played in the perfect game all-American Classic in 2012, video avail here
  • After putting up 114 PA, .330/.398/.500, 16 R, 10 XBH, 17 RBI, 3 SB in July 2017, Boldt was showing all of us what he’s capable of when switched on
  • On being from a cold weather State, Boldt had this to say,

“Not being able to play throughout the whole year maybe impacted me a little bit, but I don’t think it hurt me,” opined Boldt, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the third round last year out of the University of Nebraska. “I played basketball in high school, as well, so when the basketball season rolled around, I turned off the baseball switch and just focused on that. It was kind of nice to have that time to get away and kind of reset my mind for baseball stuff.” and added “Getting used to playing every day was the toughest transition,” Boldt told me late in spring training. “I was a little tired, mentally and physically, after my college year, and coming to the ballpark every day with a fresh mind was a challenge. One of my biggest goals for this season this is to be more consistent.”

Stats

Ryan Boldt 2017

GP 120
GP 120
PA 494
AB 440
Hits 130
Doubles 22
Triples 6
Home Runs 5
RBI 62
SB (CS) 23 (6)
AVG 0.295
OBP 0.358
SLG 0.330
OPS 0.407
BB% 7.9%
SO% 18.0%
ISO 0.111
BAbip 0.355
wOBA 0.354
wRC+ 124

Stats Notes: Ryan Boldt crushed LHP in 2017 (115 AB) to the tune of .374/.430/.504 but had a more down to earth line of .268/.332/.372 vs RHP. This explains part of the trepidation in ranking Boldt higher on this list. On the encouraging side of things, however, Boldt did manage a line of .321/.372/.432 post-all-star game, so he finished the year strong and heads to 2018 filled with positive momentum.

Interesting Comparison: Nick Markakis

  • Boldt and Markakis both stand 6’2” and just about 215 lbs, and both hit from the left side. But what makes them a good comparison is that both hail from cold weather States (NY for Markakis).
  • Tools wise, the comparisons include similar speed and power ratings, however, at the same age, Markakis was more highly rated in terms of both hit tool and arm strength, which points to Boldt likely landing in LF vice RF as Markakis did.
  • However, in terms of potential offensive side output, Boldt and Markakis have a lot of similarities, and if Boldt is able to improve his performance vs RHP, he has the potential to approach some of the production Markakis managed over his career (career .288/.358/.422 with 8 to 23 HRs and up to 18 SB per season).

Notes for 2018 and beyond

Health issues have slowed Boldt’s progress; and hopefully they’re all behind him as he attempts to build on what most would deem a very successful 2017 season.

The main issues that Boldt is going to have to address include: translating his raw power into production; hitting RHP at a high enough rate within the higher levels of the minors and in MLB, and showing he has the defensive chops in the OF to surpass other options in the Rays system.

Working against him is his age, as he’ll turn 24 yrs old just after the 2018 season and will be faced with the challenge of getting playing opportunities ahead of top-prospects such as Jesus Sanchez, Garrett Whitley, and Josh Lowe. This indicates that there’s a chance he winds up exposed in the rule 5 draft at some point and may find an opportunity elsewhere, as Joey Rickard and Tyler Goeddel did recently.

What works in his favor is the fact that he put in a full season in 2017 and managed to land on the year end FSL all-star team, and the fact that he gets a chance to show everyone what he’s capable of in AA in 2018. Should he build on a very strong second half of 2017 and show us the best of his tools, there’s a chance Boldt leaps up rankings.

With a low floor, there’s also a lot to like about Boldt as a potential 4th outfielder, one that can man any OF position and provide great speed off-the-bench.

Ryan Boldt: Spotlight Videos

Recap and links of previously listed DRB Top 50 Rays Prospects