When the Rays traded Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows, there was a third piece missing, one that all parties agreed would be much bigger than a simple PTBNL. Well that player has been named, and it is right-handed pitcher Shane Baz, according to reports.
Baz, who is currently ranked fourth in the Pirates prospect system and 95 on the overall MLB Pipeline top 100, is a legitimately great score for the Rays as part of the Archer trade. The 19-year-old grades out at an overall 50, with high marks on his fastball (65), cutter (60), and slider (60). His control grades at a 50, but if he can get it in check he has a five-pitch repertoire and the makings of a starter.
According to MLB Pipeline,
Baz has a combination of deep repertoire and projection that gives him a very high ceiling. His fastball velocity picked up in his senior year. He’ll sit at 92-96 mph and can reach back for 98 mph, with the ability to run and sink it while not losing velocity deep into his starts. He can miss bats with a plus cutter that he can turn into a true slider, and he also spins a distinctly different curveball. His changeup gives him another potential Major League average pitch. A solid athlete, Baz should be able to find the strike zone consistently as he refines his delivery.
Baz will need work, but has a ton of potential, and is a tremendous get for the Rays.