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Where are they now? Rays prospect edition

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These former future Rays are now working on reaching the majors with other organizations.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Atlanta Braves
Taylor Guerrieri was a two-time top-100 prospect, but he has not yet reached the majors
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

In April, we took a couple looks at how ex-Rays were faring. I wanted to do the same for Rays minor leaguers, so I scanned every minor league roster looking for players who used to play in the organization. It turns out it’s a pretty long list.

It’s possible — if not likely — that I missed someone, but for the players I did find who still had prospect eligibility with the Rays, I provided an update. At the end of those updates, I also have a list of other former players with the organization and where they are now.

All stats are through May 1.

RHP Jeff Ames — Double-A Harrisburg (Washington)
How acquired: No. 42 pick (2011)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

Thoracic outlet syndrome derailed Ames’ career in 2014. He was eventually able to rebound from the complications following surgery and reached Triple-A Durham in 2017, where he struck out 28.5 percent of opponents. In March, he signed with Washington and was assigned to Double A on April 30.

OF Ryan Brett — Double-A Birmingham (White Sox)
How acquired: No. 98 pick (2010)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

If someone forgot that Brett played in three games for the Rays in 2015, I would not blame them. Injuries to players ahead of him gave him the chance to make the majors, but his own shoulder injury took that chance away. After spending spring training with the Rangers, he went to the White Sox, where the former second baseman now spends most of his time in the outfield.

LHP Ryan Carpenter — Triple-A Toledo (Detroit)
How acquired: No. 240 pick (2011)
How lost: Released in 2014

A little over a month after being released by the Rays, Carpenter was scooped up by Colorado. After progressing through the organization over several seasons, he elected minor league free agency and was signed by Detroit, where he made his major league debut on April 1.

LHP Jose Castillo — Double-A San Antonio (San Diego)
How acquired: Signed for $1.55 million (2012)
How lost: Traded to San Diego in Wil Myers trade (2014)

Castillo — alongside pitcher Jose Mujica and catcher David Rodriguez, both of whom are still in the organization — was one of three big international signings by the Rays in 2012. None have reached the majors yet, but Castillo did pitch in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Getting his walk rate down to single digits has been an obstacle so far in his career.

RHP Ethan Clark — Class A-Advanced Jupiter (Miami)
How acquired: No. 448 pick (2015)
How lost: Traded to Miami in Adeiny Hechavarria trade (2017)

Over the last two seasons, Clark’s strikeout rate has spiked, but he now finds himself on the DL, having made just two appearances this season. At the time of the trade, Baseball America reported his fastball was 92-92 mph, and he also had an above-average changeup.

RHP Enderson Franco — Double-A Mississippi (Atlanta)
How acquired: Minor league Rule 5 draft (2013)
How lost: Traded to Miami for international bonus money (2015)

In his brief time with the Rays, Franco looked like a sleeper prospect as an effective pitcher. After the trade, he picked very ineffectively for Class-A Greensboro and ended up in the Atlanta organization. He has still been unable to recapture what made him effective with the Rays, but he was apparently on Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic roster last year.

RHP Ryan Garton — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
How acquired: No. 1,052 pick (2012)
How lost: Traded to Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2017)

Garton is one of two players from the 34th round in the 2012 MLB draft to reach the majors (Jordan Jankowski). He has pitched in the majors for both the Rays and Mariners, but the 28-year-old now finds himself on the minor league disabled list. He had hip surgery in the offseason.

1B Casey Gillaspie — Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox)
How acquired: No. 20 pick (2014)
How lost: Traded to White Sox for Dan Jennings (2017)

When Gillaspie hit 18 home runs with a .866 OPS between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham in 2016, it appeared as though the switch-hitting slugger would soon fulfill his potential as a first-round pick. After a few disappointing follow-up months in 2017, he was traded away. This season, he has a .475 OPS and was recently outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster.

OF Tyler Goeddel — Triple-A Louisville (Cincinnati)
How acquired: No. 41 pick (2011)
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2015)

Goeddel was a great athlete as a prospect, and after his breakout 2015 season with Montgomery that saw him set career highs in many offensive categories, the Phillies took him in the Rule 5 draft. He stuck with them the whole season, but playing time was sparse, and he was eventually designated for assignment. Still just 25, he has not yet returned to the majors, now with the Reds organization.

OF Granden Goetzman — Double-A Springfield (St. Louis)
How acquired: No. 75 pick (2011)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

Goetzman had great tools, but he was never able to put it all together for the Rays, despite reaching Triple-A Durham for 17 games in 2017. He was frequently limited by injuries. In 13 games for Springfield, he has a .385 OPS, but he’s currently listed as a member of the New York-Penn League’s State College Spikes, likely as a paper move to make room for someone else on Springfield’s active roster.

RHP Roberto Gomez — Triple-A Sacramento (San Francisco)
How acquired: Signed in 2010
How lost: Released in 2014

Gomez pitched in the organization for five seasons, and I’m sure I wrote something about him at some point, but I have little to no recollection of him. After being released by the Rays, he didn’t pitch at all from 2015-16, but the Giants gave him a shot last season, and he even reached the majors.

OF Cade Gotta — Double-A Jacksonville (Miami)
How acquired: No. 787 pick (2014)
How lost: Released in 2018

Just a day after being released by the Rays, the Marlins scooped up Gotta, who reached Triple A in 2017. He has just five games in his new organization so far, and I don’t think I’d rule out the chance of the 26-year-old making the majors at some point, even if he doesn’t stick. He’s a career .275 hitter and has played all three outfield spots.

RHP Taylor Guerrieri — Triple-A Buffalo (Toronto)
How acquired: No. 24 pick (2011)
How lost: Claimed by Toronto on waivers (2017)

Guerrieri was expected to be the crown jewel of the team’s huge 2011 draft, but that didn’t quite pan out. Tommy John surgery sidetracked him early in his career, and another elbow injury limited him to two appearances for Durham in 2017. In the offseason, he went to the Blue Jays on waivers, and he’s still on their 40-man roster. He has three appearances so far in 2018.

IF Jake Hager — Double-A Biloxi (Milwaukee)
How acquired: No. 32 pick (2011)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

Hager appeared to be one of the more promising members of that 2011 draft when the Rays sent him straight to Class-A Bowling Green in his first full professional season. He batted .281 with a .757 OPS that season, but he never came close to repeating that success, even as he made it all the way to Triple-A Durham. Now 25 — and perhaps fully recovered from knee surgeries that cost him the entire 2015 season — he’s playing shortstop full-time and has been hot at the plate. He hit two home runs in the first month and owns a .924 OPS.

C Oscar Hernandez — Triple-A Pawtucket (Boston)
How acquired: Signed in 2010
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2014)

Like Goeddel, the trajectory of Hernandez’s career was significantly altered by a Rule 5 selection that was perhaps premature, but he was at least able to get over a year’s worth of big league checks. Injuries and Arizona’s insistence on keeping him in the majors in 2015 cost him developmental time, and he was never very good even after he went back to the minors. In the offseason, Boston signed him to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, but he’s currently sitting out 50 games for a drug suspension.

OF Bralin Jackson — Double-A Altoona (Pittsburgh)
How acquired: No. 182 pick (2012)
How lost: Released in 2016

Aside from 62 games in the New York-Penn League in 2014 — his second full professional season — Jackson never really hit for the Rays. After being released, he spent the entire 2017 season in the independent Frontier League and apparently showed enough to earn a minor league deal with Pittsburgh. In late April, he was assigned to Double A and has played five games so far this season.

OF Braxton Lee — Triple-A New Orleans (Miami)
How acquired: No. 367 pick (2014)
How lost: Traded to Miami in Adeiny Hechavarria trade (2017)

Along with Clark, Lee was one of two players the Rays traded for their current veteran shortstop. After some mediocre play to start his pro career, he batted .309 in 2017, winning the Southern League batting title. With his contact ability, speed, and defense, he was able to make Miami’s Opening Day roster, but after a slow start, he found himself back in the minors and is now on the DL.

3B Patrick Leonard — Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox)
How acquired: Traded for in James Shields trade (2012)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

Leonard always had some appeal as a player with power potential who can play all four corner positions, but he never quite broke through with the Rays. Oddly enough, his career high in home runs came in a short-season league in his pro debut. His .190 ISO so far this season is his best since 2012, but playing in Charlotte probably has something to do with that. Still, a major league call for the 25-year-old isn’t out of the question at some point.

OF Mikie Mahtook — Triple-A Toledo (Detroit)
How acquired: No. 31 pick (2011)
How lost: Traded for a player to be named later (Drew Smith) (2017)

Mahtook has had some highlights in his major league career — he hit nine home runs with a 165 OPS+ in 41 games in his big league debut in 2015, and he had a .787 OPS last season with Detroit. However, he has been unable to consistently stick in the big leagues, and the 28-year-old finds himself back in the minors in 2018 with a .528 OPS in the International League.

C Mike Marjama — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
How acquired: Trade with White Sox (2015)
How lost: Traded to Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2017)

The Rays did well to add Marjama for catching depth prior to the 2015 season. He hit well for Charlotte and Montgomery before being swapped along with Garton for prospects Anthony Misiewicz and Luis Rengifo. Since then, he’s seen limited action with the Mariners and was even in their Opening Day lineup after an injury to Mike Zunino.

LHP Anthony Misiewicz — Double-A Arkansas (Seattle)
How acquired: Traded from Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2017)
How lost: Traded to Seattle for international bonus money (2017)

If you blinked at all during the final six months or so of 2017, you likely missed Misiewicz’s time with the organization. He made five starts for Montgomery before going back to Seattle. The lefty with average stuff is now the Mariners’ No. 18 prospect according to Baseball America and could pitch in the majors at some point.

IF Taylor Motter — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
How acquired: No. 540 pick (2011)
How lost: Traded to Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2016)

In a two-week period near the start of the 2017 season, Motter had a 1.030 OPS, and many wondered if the Rays would regret sending away the versatile player. However, he quickly cooled off. Because he can play so many positions, he’ll probably never have a hard time finding work, but he’ll have to do a little better than his current .516 OPS in Triple A.

IF Shawn O’Malley — Triple-A Albuquerque (Colorado)
How acquired: No. 139 pick (2006)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2013 season

In eight season with the Rays organization, O’Malley hit eight home runs. He actually has three major league home runs in 305 career plate appearances with the Angels and Mariners. Still just 30 years old, his ability to play all over the diamond can keep him in baseball.

IF Juniel Querecuto — Double-A Jackson (Arizona)
How acquired: Signed in 2009
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2016 season

Prior to viewing Querecuto’s transactions log to see where he went when he left the Rays, I was reminded that he spent four games with the Rays in the 2016 season. I completely forgot about that. He struggled with Triple-A Sacramento in 2017, and after signing him for 2018, Arizona assigned him to Double A. If he can keep up his .917 OPS, he’ll get another shot.

IF Leonardo Reginatto — Triple-A Rochester (Minnesota)
How acquired: Signed in 2009
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2015 season

Reginatto must really like the Twins — he has signed with them in three consecutive minor league free agencies. The Brazilian was a steady offensive presence all around the infield and made progress through the organization and played on his nation’s WBC team. He had a .369 on-base percentage and .758 OPS for Rochester last season, but it wasn’t enough for his first call to the majors.

IF Luis Rengifo — Class A-Advanced Inland Empire (Angels)
How acquired: Traded from Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2017)
How lost: Traded to Angels for C.J. Cron (2018)

Like Misiewicz, Rengifo’s time with the Rays was very brief, but he at least had most of a spring training with them before getting dealt again. The athletic shortstop has some promise, and he’s batting .280 so far this season and displaying a great plate approach with just 17 strikeouts and 15 walks.

RHP Gerardo Reyes — Double-A San Antonio (San Diego)
How acquired: Signed as undrafted free agent (2013)
How lost: Traded to San Diego in Wil Myers trade (2014)

Reyes was certainly one of the least-heralded players in the 11-player Myers trade, but the relief pitcher has had some solid seasons as he’s moved up the ladder. He missed all of 2015 but now finds himself in Double A for the first time. He’s posted some nice strikeout rates throughout his career and could eventually reach the majors.

OF Joey Rickard — Triple-A Norfolk (Baltimore)
How acquired: No. 302 pick (2012)
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2015)

Like Motter, Rickard had a stretch where it looked like the Rays might regret not keeping him in the organization. He started his major league career in 2016 with a seven-game hitting streak, but he has been unremarkable since then. He seems to have settled in as an up-and-down fifth outfielder.

OF Richie Shaffer — Triple-A Columbus (Cleveland)
How acquired: No. 25 pick (2012)
How lost: Traded to Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2016)

Shaffer has reached the majors and does have some more defensive versatility, but he’s similar to Gillaspie in that he was a college slugger who didn’t quite hit enough as a professional to consistently stick in the big leagues. In 2015, he earned his call-up by mashing 27 home runs with Montgomery and Durham. He hasn’t attained that kind of success since.

RHP Drew Smith — Triple-A Las Vegas (Mets)
How acquired: Trade with Detroit (2017)
How lost: Traded for Lucas Duda (2017)

Smith made 23 appearances in his layover with the Rays. He’s the Mets’ No. 20 prospect according to BA, and he’s now pitching in Triple A for the first time. With a mid-to-high 90s fastball and effective curveball, he should become a big league reliever at some point — perhaps this season.

RHP Albert Suarez — Triple-A Reno (Arizona)
How acquired: Signed in 2007
How lost: Released in 2014

BA ranked Suarez as a top-30 prospect in the organization three times, but he never reached the majors with the Rays. After a year with the Angels, he did reach the majors in 2016 with San Francisco. He did not have success coming out of the Giants’ bullpen, and he’s pitching in Triple A for Arizona, trying to get back to the majors.

OF Andrew Toles — Triple-A Oklahoma City (Dodgers)
How acquired: No. 119 pick (2012)
How lost: Released in 2015

After missing most of the 2014 season for personal reasons, the Rays released their 2013 minor league player of the year at the end of spring training in 2015. He didn’t play professionally that season, but he signed with the Dodgers for 2016 and quickly established himself as a prospect again. A torn ligament in his knee disrupted his 2017 season, and a hamstring injury has him on the minor league DL with just six games under his belt.

IF Riley Unroe — Double-A Mobile (Angels)
How acquired: No. 60 pick (2013)
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2017)

Unroe is a good defender, but other than some nice walk rates, he never really put it together offensively. He was left unprotected in the minor league Rule 5 draft, and the Angels, one of the teams his dad played for in his career, took a chance on him. The results have not been any better so far.


“3B” Jose Bautista — Triple-A Gwinnett (Atlanta)
RHP Matt Bush — Triple-A Round Rock (Texas)
LHP Xavier Cedeno — Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox)
OF Jaff Decker — Triple-A Gwinnett (Atlanta)
IF Taylor Featherston — Triple-A Rochester (Minnesota)
C Nick Franklin — Double-A Biloxi (Milwaukee)
RHP Steve Geltz — Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia)
C Chris Gimenez — Triple-A Iowa (Cubs)
RHP Edwin Jackson — Triple-A Syracuse (Washington)
RHP Jhan Marinez — Triple-A Norfolk (Baltimore)
IF Michael Martinez — Triple-A Columbus (Cleveland)
OF Daniel Nava — Triple-A Indianapolis (Pittsburgh)
OF Shane Peterson — Triple-A El Paso (San Diego)
3B Trevor Plouffe — Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia)
OF Cesar Puello — Triple-A Reno (Arizona)
LHP Michael Roth — Triple-A Iowa (Cubs)
1B Jerry Sands — Double-A Richmond (San Francisco)
IF Ryan Schimpf — Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels)
C Ali Solis — Triple-A Iowa (Cubs)
RHP Shawn Tolleson — Triple-A Round Rock (Texas)
RHP Chase Whitley — Triple-A Gwinnett (Atlanta)
LHP Adam Wilk — Triple-A Columbus (Cleveland)
C Bobby Wilson — Triple-A Rochester (Minnesota)