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2018 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 24

Another promising young hitter breaks the chain of experiences pitchers.

MILB: SEP 28 Florida Instructional League - FIL Braves at FIL Rays
Vidal Brujan should play for Bowling Green in 2018
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Previous winner

2B Vidal Brujan (S/R, 5’9 155, 20 in 2018)

2017 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 302 PA, .285/.378/.415, 23 XBH, 16-of-24 SB, 11.3 BB%, 11.9 K%

Brujan is still young, but he looks like a prototypical leadoff hitter. In his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2015, he had 38 walks and 16 strikeouts. How is that even possible? Since then, he has continued to excel at putting the ball in play, and his on-base percentage in 2017 was a career high. He puts the ball in play and uses his speed. His defense at second base is solid.

Support for Brujan materialized quickly. It only took him four polls to reach the list, and he only got one vote in each of his first two outings.

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

LHP Brock Burke (6’4 200, 21 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 123 1/3 IP, 2.99 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7.0 BB%, 21.1 K%

Burke was a third-round pick in 2014, and he finally made his full-season debut in 2017. The key for him was improved control. In his final high-school season, he walked nearly seven batters per nine innings, per Baseball America ($). In 2016, his walk rate was 11 percent. He has an average fastball, and his delivery creates deception. He has to improve his curveball and changeup.

LHP Genesis Cabrera (6’1 170, 21 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 134 1/3 IP, 3.22 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 9.1 BB%, 19.5 K%

Cabrera pitched very well again in 2017, even reaching Double A with Montgomery. Only three pitchers were younger than him in the Southern League. He has good stuff, led by his 92-93 mph fastball that can touch 97. He complements his heater with a good slider that has made him tough on lefties. He needs to develop a third pitch and improve his command.

OF Jake Fraley (L/L, 6’0 195, 23 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 105 PA, .170/.238/.255, 1-for-3 SB, 6.6 BB%, 22.9 K%

2017 was a lost season for Fraley. He went on the disabled list twice, including once after getting hit by a pitch in late May. He did not return to the Stone Crabs after that. In the offseason, he played in the Australian Baseball League and dominating, stealing 39 bases and slugging 13 home runs in 39 games. Whether that actually carries over to the U.S. is questionable, but it is important he was able to accumulate more at-bats. He has plus speed and is a very good defender in center field.

LHP Resly Linares (6’2 170, 20 in 2018)

2017 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 61 1/3 IP, 2.35 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9.4 BB%, 24.5 K%

In his second season pitching in the U.S., Linares improved immensely in 2017. He allowed 36 hits in 61 13 innings after allowing 40 hits in just 32 innings the previous season with Princeton. His walk rate increased, but he was very effective in a rotation that featured higher-profile arms like Brendan McKay and Austin Franklin. He throws a good curveball and his changeup has some promise, and he’ll need to add some velocity to his average fastball as he gets stronger.

SS Jelfry Marte (S/R, 5’11 170, 17 in 2018)

No 2017 statistics

The Twins initially signed Marte for $3 million, but that agreement was later voided due to a vision issue discovered in his physical. That allowed the Rays to scoop him up for a reported $800,000. He’s an athlete who has the ability to become an impressive defender at shortstop. He’s a good basestealer. At the plate, he’s a line-drive hitter but may not develop much power.

RHP Jose Mujica (6’2 235, 22 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 165 23 IP, 3.04 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 6.7 BB%, 13.5 K%

After signing for $1 million in 2012, Mujica has gradually developed, sometimes slowed down by injuries. He made his full-season debut in 2016, and after two starts with Charlotte in 2017, was needed in Montgomery, where he spent the remainder of the season. Thanks to this progress, he was added to the 40-man roster in November. He throws a lot of strikes. However, his strikeout rate ranked 47th out of 50 minor league pitchers who threw 150-plus innings last season. He has an above-average fastball and changeup.

3B Kevin Padlo (R/R, 6’2 205, 21 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 259 PA, .223/.324/.391, 6 HR, 22 XBH, 13.5 BB%, 23.2 K%

In his second season in the organization, Padlo struggled, but the hamate injury he sustained in May could be a significant mitigating factor. That injury is known to sap power from a player, and his .082 ISO in the Arizona Fall League would certainly suggest that. He’s known for his power potential, but he’ll have to cut down on his strikeouts to tap into his power in games more often. For a big guy, he’s not a bad athlete and fields his position well.

RHP Ryne Stanek (6’4 215, 26 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Tampa Bay: 20 IP, 5.85 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 12.6 BB%, 30.5 K%
2017 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 44 2/3 IP, 1.21 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 9.2 BB%, 34.5 K%

Stanek, the No. 29 pick in the 2013 draft, saw his career take off when he moved to the bullpen in 2016. He was outstanding for Durham in 2017, ranking sixth in the International League in strikeout rate among pitchers with 40-plus innings. He also cut down on his walk rate. However, he was not at all effective in the minors, walking a lot of batters and allowing a lot of home runs. His fastball did average over 98 mph, and he has an effective slider. He has to locate his pitches.

C Brett Sullivan (L/R, 6’1 195, 24 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 441 PA, .294/.324/.433, 37 XBH, 18-for-24 SB, 3.9 BB%, 9.1 K%

Sullivan was hard to strike out in 2016. In 2017, it was almost impossible for opponents to strike him out. Only six players with 400-plus plate appearances struck out at a lower rate. He’s clearly capable of getting his bat on the ball, but he doesn’t have much power. He’s a good athlete with a nice arm. He still doesn’t have much experience behind the plate, having just started catching in the 2016 season.

LHP Ryan Yarbrough (6’5 205, 26 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 157 13 IP, 3.43 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 6.0 BB%, 24.7 K%)

In his first season in the organization after arriving from Seattle in the Drew Smyly trade, Yarbrough was very good for Durham, putting himself in a position to reach the majors in 2018. He led the International League in strikeouts and was third in innings. He’s tall and throws a low-90s sinker, although he oddly allowed 20 home runs after only allowing 15 in his career up to that point. His changeup is his second best pitch, and he’s working on his slider.