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2018 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 20

Jaime Schultz made it consecutive Triple-A pitchers to reach the list.

Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day
If he stays healthy, Jaime Schultz can be a weapon for the Rays in 2018
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Previous winner

RHP Jaime Schultz (5’10 200, 27 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 11 23 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 8.0 BB%, 42.0 K%

Schultz almost certainly would’ve made his big league debut in 2017 had a persistent groin injury not sidelined him for much of the season. It was not the first groin injury of his career. In his limited work with Durham, he pitched out of the bullpen for the first time, and he was electric, striking out more than two batters out of every five he faced. If he throws strikes with his mid-90s fastball and plus breaking ball, he can be a dominant reliever.

I am pretty sure Schultz has received votes in 40 consecutive polls, and he has finally reached the list. He’s the second straight pitcher from Durham’s pitching staff to reach the list, and I don’t know if that streak will end in this poll.

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

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.

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.

RHP Diego Castillo (6’3 240, 24 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 71 23 IP, 2.76 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 6.8 BB%, 30.6 K%

Except for a spot start in July last season, Castillo has been a reliever his entire professional career. He was already 20 when the Rays signed him in 2014, making him extraordinarily old for an international free agent. It cost just $64,000 to sign him, and that appears to be a bargain. His fastball has been recorded as high as 101 mph, and he has a good breaking ball to go along with it. He was added to the 40-man roster in November and could help the bullpen in 2018.

RHP Yonny Chirinos (6’2 170, 24 in 2018)

2017 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 168 13 IP, 2.73 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 4.0 BB%, 21.7 K%

Once again, Chirinos was one of the most effective pitchers in the organization, and this time, the Rays wouldn’t risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft, adding him to the 40-man roster. In 474 13 career innings, including 55 in the offensively inclined Venezuelan Summer League, he owns a 2.75 ERA. His strikeout rate improved five percent last season. Piecing together tidbits on him from Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus ($), he throws a low-90s fastball with a slider and splitter.

C Ronaldo Hernandez (R/R, 6’1 185, 20 in 2018)

2017 statistics with rookie-level Princeton: 246 PA, .332/.382/.507, 5 HR, 28 XBH, 6.5 BB%, 15.9 K%

Hernandez is the latest in a long line of promising young catchers in the Rays’ organization. He was 20th in the Appalachian League in OPS, but only three players in front of him were also under 20 years old. He has impressive power potential, and despite still being such a young player, he’s already showing it in games with all the doubles he hit. He makes good contact with a nice plate approach. He has a good arm and the ability to stay behind the plate.

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.

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.

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.