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Rays Top 50 Prospects: No. 29, Resly Linares

(Sandy Tambone / MiLB.com)

One of the many international additions that could help the Rays reach another level in the AL East is up next. Along with Brock Burke and Genesis Cabrera who are ahead of him, he should provide some good fire power from the left side whether it’s in the pen or the rotation.

No.29, LHP Resly Linares, 20 yrs old

Born: Dec 11th, 1997 in Santo Domingo, DR

Height/Weight: 6’2” 170 lbs Bats/Throws: L/L

Signed: by the Rays during the 2014-15 international signing period

Twitter handle: NA

Twitter profile statement: NA

Baseball America Rankings

  • Ranked as the 30th best Rays prospect post 2016
  • Ranked as the 24th best Rays prospect post 2017
  • Ranked as the 9th best Appy League prospect in 2014

DRB Writers ranking

  • High: 17th
  • Low: 45th

Resly Linares: Abilities

  • Above average curve
  • Good fastball
  • Developing change
  • Expected to add velocity as he gains strength

Scouting grades ‘18 (Pipeline): FB: 50 | CU: 55 | CH: 50 | Ctl: 50 | Overall: 45

  • Abilities notes: Stamina will be another key element for Linares’ growth, as he’ll be adding innings in 2018 and looking to lengthen his starts.

Joined the Rays by way of....

The international market where he received $275,000 in 2014, joining Diego Castillo ($64K), Ronaldo Hernandez ($225K), Jesus Sanchez ($400K), and Adrian Rondon ($2.95M) to make it the most successful international class ever for the Rays.

Latest Transaction: assigned to HV Renegades from Princeton Rays June 19th, 2017

Note - The way he handled himself at Hudson Valley last year pretty much guarantees he’ll get his first full season of pitching in this season with a possible late start to limit innings increase.

From 2016 Handbook,

SLEEPER: Resly Linares, lhp. Teen Dominican lefty can reach 94 mph and reach 94 and has a chance to make noise when he reaches the U.S.

Facts, Honors, and Awards

  • Wrote him up on my top 50 in 2016, at #49, noting a relief role was likely and added this about him and Jesus Sanchez: “If our gut feelings on both of them are correct, they may be two of the best investments the Rays have made in a long time”
  • Landed among the top 20 DSL prospects from BA for his 2015 season.
  • Resly started the year going 0-3 through his first 6 outings (5 starts) but ended the season without a loss in his last 7 starts, earning 3 wins in the process.
  • Also encouraging heading into 2018 is the fact that Resly only allowed 2 HRs in 2017, down from 6 in only 32 IP in 2016.
  • He averaged 5 innings per start in 2017, something he’ll hopefully build on this season.

Stats

Resly Linares 2017

GP 13
GP 13
GS 12
IP 61.1
W 3
L 3
Sv (SvO) 0 (0)
H 36
BB 23
SO 60
HR 2
AvgA 0.171
Whip 0.960
BAbip 0.224
LOB% 73.2%
GB% 39.5%
FB% 41.5%

Stats Notes: Resly was overwhelmingly effective against left-handed hitters, keeping them to a .133 average. May have tired some in the second half of the season, as he allowed a .222 average against in the second half as compared to a .144 average against in the first half.

Interesting Comparison: Felipe Rivero

Both are left-handed pitchers who stand 6’2.” Linares is thinner but likely to add weight as he matures, similar to Rivero.

With this comparison, the Rays will try to get it right the second time around with an eerily similar pitcher as the one they let go in 2014.

February 13, 2014: Traded by the Tampa Bay Rays with Drew Vettleson (minors) and Jose Lobaton to the Washington Nationals for Nate Karns.

The just extended Rivero, now closer for the Pittsburgh Pirates, began his career with the Rays and went through a similar timeline but spent two seasons in the now defunct VSL, allowing him to skip over HV for BG at the same age. Although he put in work in the Appy league vice HV at the same age, he also managed just over 60 innings in his 19 yrs old season.

But at that point, they were different pitchers, really. Linares is able to avoid giving up as many hits as Rivero allowed (36 vice 65), but also allowed more walks (23 vice 13).

However, the focus of this comparison should be on where Rivero headed after that season in the Appy league (to Bowling Green) and how many innings he managed (113). We can expect a similar outcome for Linares.

Notes for 2018 and beyond

While his change up earned a 50 grade from MLB Pipeline, many believe Linares will need to continue improving it before being considered a starter long-term. What he does have to work with is already impressive, however, giving him a lower floor than most.

Armed with a curveball that makes knees buckle, Linares has a strike out pitch and knows how to use it to his advantage. What some evaluators expect to occur as he matures is for him to add some velocity to a low 90s FB and to eventually work steadily in the mid-90s.

This is exactly what’s happened for Felipe Rivero, if we return to our comparison, as he’s now working in the upper 90s after spending the majority of his minors career in the 90 to 94 MPH range.

Should Linares be able to add velocity, improve his change and control enough, there’s reason to believe he’ll get a chance to remain a starter. Should he falter in that and be viewed as a much better option as a RP, he could rocket through the system and be ready to help out in short order.

Whether it’s as a dominant reliever or effective starter, there’s a lot of promise in Linares and we look forward to seeing how much he improves his profile in 2018.

Resly Linares: Spotlight Videos

The smooth and effortless delivery is showcased here,

Recap and links of previously listed DRB Top 50 Rays Prospects