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2018 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 29

We enter the final week of voting with two new players on the list.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks-Workout
No photos of Anthony Banda in a Rays uniform are in the editor yet
Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Recent inclusions

LHP Anthony Banda (6’2 190, 24 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Arizona: 2523 IP, 5.96 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 8.7 BB%, 21.7 K%

2017 statistics with Triple-A Reno: 122 IP, 5.39 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 9.6 BB%, 21.8 K%

Despite his struggles in 2017, Banda reached the majors and was still Arizona’s No. 2 prospect, according to Baseball America. Although he didn’t pitch well, he maintained the stuff that made him a potential No. 3 starter, including a plus fastball that can touch 96 mph. His breaking ball and changeup are both inconsistent but have potential to be above-average pitches. His command has to improve. At the very least, he’ll start the season as a member of Durham’s deep pitching staff and get a shot with the Rays later.

2B Nick Solak (R/R, 5’11 175, 23 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class A-Advanced Tampa and Double-A Trenton: 538 PA, .297/.384/.452, 12 HR, 43 XBH, 14-for-19 SB, 11.7 BB%, 18.6 K%

For two seasons, Solak was a teammate of Rays No. 1 pick Brendan McKay at Louisville. He kind of fits the frequently seen second base profile. He’s not big, but he makes a lot of contact and knows the strike zone. He can spray the ball all over the field and has gap power, and he’s not a bad baserunner. However, he has to improve defensively. Because of the organization’s infield depth, a return to Double A to start 2018 isn’t out of the question.

After the special election, we’re down to two votes in the top 30. No one has asked for it yet, but I’m thinking of extending the list again this year. If I remember correctly, last year I set up a Google Form for people to submit their next 10 prospects and then tallied up the results.

Testers are closed for this year. I included the three players who were asked for in the last normal poll and even one who wasn’t.

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.

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.

2B Tristan Gray (L/R, 6’3 185, 22 in 2018)

2017 statistics with short-season West Virginia: 234 PA, .269/.329/.486, 7 HR, 25 XBH, 5-for-12 SB, 8.1 BB%, 13.7 K%

Gray was acquired from Pittsburgh in the Corey Dickerson trade. He surprised many with his strong pro debut, ranking as the New York-Penn League’s No. 19 prospect (BA, $) despite being just a 13th-round pick from Rice last June. For a middle infielder, he showed some nice pop, and he did so without striking out a ton. He has the athletic ability and arm to be a versatile defender, and he split time between the middle-infield positions in his debut.

1B Dalton Kelly (L/L, 6’3 180, 23 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 507 PA, .304/.399/.458, 9 HR, 46 XBH, 11-for-20 SB, 11.6 BB%, 22.3 K%

Kelly was having a fairly nondescript season with Charlotte in his debut with the organization after being acquired from Seattle in the Taylor Motter trade. Then he was promoted to Montgomery. After only hitting two homers with the Stone Crabs, he hit three in a span of three days in his first week with the Biscuits. He has a good plate approach and plays good defense at first base.

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.

SS Jermaine Palacios (R’R, 6’0 167, 21 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class-A Cedar Rapids and Class A-Advanced Fort Myers: 539 PA, .296/.333/.454, 13 HR, 44 XBH, 20-for-35 SB, 4.1 BB%, 18.4 K%

Acquired from the Twins for pitcher Jake Odorizzi, Palacios had a breakout 2017 season, at least in the Midwest League. After an injury-shortened 2016 season there, he returned and slugged 11 homers in 62 games before a midseason promotion to the Florida State League. The power surge was unexpected with only four home runs from 2014-16. He can make good contact, but he has to become more patient. He’s a decent athlete with a good arm, giving him a chance to stick at shortstop.

3B Adrian Rondon (R/R, 6’1 190, 19 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 438 PA, .221/.286/.330, 9 HR, 7.5 BB%, 29.5 K%

Rondon was the No. 1 international prospect in 2014 and signed for $2.95 million, but his results on the field have been inconsistent. He moved to third base in 2017 and had a poor season at the plate, striking out far too much and not showing any of the power he previously displayed. He has the arm and athleticism to play quality defense at third base. He’s still very young, so it’s hard to give up on his tools.

RHP Drew Strotman (6’3 195, 21 in 2018)

2017 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 50 23 IP, 1.78 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 4.8 BB%, 22.6 K%

Strotman was just a fourth-round pick from Saint Mary’s, but he stood out in his pro debut. After spending most of his collegiate career as a reliever, he was a starter for most of his appearances in the New York-Penn League. He throws a lot of strikes and generates groundballs. His fastball sits in the low-90s, and he can reach back for more when he has to. His best secondary pitch is his slider, which has above-average potential. His changeup is improving.

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.

RHP Curtis Taylor (6’6 215, 22 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Class-A Kane County: 62 13 IP, 3.32 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 8.8 BB%, 26.1 K%

The Rays acquired Taylor in December for Brad Boxberger. He was effective in the Midwest League in 2017, but he was limited to 13 starts due to a shoulder problem. His last start of the season was actually against Bowling Green. He throws a low-90s fastball with some sink. Is his slider his best secondary pitch, or is it his changeup (BP, $)? With shoulder concerns and a high-effort delivery, he could be destined for the bullpen.

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.