The Rays were one of the big show stealers of the first day of the 2018 MLB draft. Matt Liberatore, Baseball America’s 2nd rated prospect in their top 500, fell to the Rays at number 16.
Welcome to the family.#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/bpS9msOsRT— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 5, 2018
Obviously this was a big shock, and as the draft fell into place and Liberatore was still on the board, the Rays were certainly getting excited about the chance to get the widely considered best prep arm in the draft.
.@RaysBaseball Director of Amateur Scouting Rob Metzler was surprised and excited to see LHP Matthew Liberatore still available when the team was on the clock with the 16th overall pick in the #MLBDraft. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/um0zWkQYaY— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) June 5, 2018
- MLB Network had their analysts Dan Plesac break down Liberatore, and Al Leiter for Shane McClanahan.
- Baseball America has a great scouting report on all the first rounders. Of particular note is how BA is already calling both his Curve and his Change project as plus pitches.
- Rays Radio has a ton more great content, including audio with Matt Liberatore, while Dominik V has MLB Network clips of the selection of Liberatore.
- With the 31st selection the Rays picked USF LHP Shane McClanahan. Christopher Crawford had McClanahan and Liberatore as two of his top 10 pitching prospects in the draft.
- With 32, the Rays went back to HS and selected OF Nick Schnell. As Greg Auman tweeted, Schnell has put on an absolute show this year with an OBP of .674! Carlos Collanzo writes that Schnell has a chance to stick in CF, but his loud bat could profile nicely in the corner OF. Fun clip, but he was also intentionally walked with the bases loaded!
- Chaim Bloom spoke about the Rays 31st and 32nd picks to Rays Radio.
- Rays picked SS Tyler Frank at number 56. Eric Longenhagen calls him a “hitterish MIF who isn’t a traditional fit at SS”, Mat Germain has the MLB Pipeline grades, and Dominik V has the MLB clip of his selection. And a clip of him in action. He was playing while he was selected, and was putting on a defensive show. Already sounds like a perfect Rays pick!
- With their final pick, at number 72, the Rays took RHP/OF Tanner Dodson. Drafted as a pitcher, but won a batting title in the Cape Cod League. Keith Law reports that the Rays do intend to use Dodson as both a pitcher and hitter. He is also a finalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year. Collegiate Baseball Scouting Network has a good write up about the two-way Cal player.
- Overall the Rays were able to select 5 guys in the top 69 of the BA top 500 big board. That’s NOT BAD.
- Finally, some cool history for the Rays and baseball:
Each @MLB club has a #MLBDraft representative, including @RaysBaseball’s Sandy Dengler. Sandy is in her 41st professional baseball season and is the first-ever female club representative at the Draft. pic.twitter.com/HseEvDhHI3— MLB Network PR (@MLBNetworkPR) June 5, 2018
- Yonny Chirinos has been reinstated from the DL and is headed to Durham for the time being.
- Wilson Ramos spoke to Topkin about his return to DC.