On Thursday, preliminary Arizona Fall League rosters were announced. The annual prospect showcase begins on Oct. 9.
Rays prospects have been assigned to the Peoria Javelinas, where they’ll join with minor leaguers from the Atlanta, Milwaukee, San Diego, and Seattle organizations. In addition to the players presently listed on the roster, Marc Topkin reported another pitcher will be added at a later date.
SS Lucius Fox (.272/.355/.340, 19.3 K%, 9.5 BB% in 507 PA for Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery)
Fox had a chance to play on the national stage at the 2017 Futures Game, and he’ll get another opportunity in the AFL. The speedy 21-year-old shortstop has cut down on his strikeouts this season, and a month in the AFL will give him additional plate appearances against experienced pitching after his late-season promotion to Double A.
LHP Matt Krook (4.25 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 28.6 K%, 15.4 BB% in 72 IP for Double-A Montgomery)
Acquired in the Evan Longoria trade, Krook has transitioned to the bullpen with his new organization, with the exception of a few spot starts. While the 23-year-old’s strikeout rate has increased in his new role, his walk rate has not seen any improvement. With his strikeout rate and ability to generate groundballs, he could be an effective pitcher if he throws more strikes.
OF Joe McCarthy (.264/.369/.500, 23.7 K%, 14.2 BB% in 169 PA for Triple-A Durham)
McCarthy, 24, missed most of the season with an injury, so the extra plate appearances gained in the AFL will be beneficial to the outfielder knocking on the door of the majors. He seemingly made some changes this season, striking out more often but hitting for greater power. He will need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason.
RHP Phoenix Sanders (3.23 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 33.1 K%, 8.5 BB% in 61 1⁄3 IP for Class-A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte)
In his first full professional season, the 23-year-old Sanders has been quite successful in 33 appearances, all in relief. The South Florida product — the Rays’ 10th-round pick in 2017 — has struck out batters at a high rate despite Baseball America’s predraft report ($) indicating he was a strike-thrower with average stuff.
RHP Curtis Taylor (2.52 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 31.3 K%, 9.7 BB% in 75 IP for Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery)
Like Krook, Taylor was an offseason trade acquisition. The Rays got the 23-year-old righty from Arizona in the Brad Boxberger deal. Also like Krook, he shifted to a relief role with the Rays. With a hard fastball and good slider, he has excelled coming out of the bullpen. All but eight of his appearances have been longer than one inning, so he could be a fit on a Rays pitching staff.