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Four Rays prospects named to MLB Pipeline teams of the year

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Can’t help but Wander where a certain star prospect is

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The minor league baseball season is nearing its conclusion, and with that, there are numerous awards and honors being handed out to those who excelled in their respective leagues and levels this season.

MLB Pipeline, MLB.com’s prospect site as named their all prospect teams for the year with a first string and second string roster, with a quartet of players within the Rays organization being selected. And if you are “wandering” where one Wander Franco is: short-season players are not included in this ranking. No doubt we’ll have some new names popping up next year.

To be eligible for the Prospect Team of the Year, a player must have spent at least half of the season in the Minors and ranked on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Prospects list for his organization at some point.

The Rays first team selections

Nate Lowe, who was one of the Rays representatives for the Futures Game in Washington this summer, was named as the DH for the first string team. Lowe established himself as one of the top offensive players in the Rays system with a breakout campaign that show him elevate all the way to Triple-A Durham.

Nathaniel has shattered all expectations, hitting 27 homers this year after going deep just seven times the season before and finishing in the top 10 in the Minors in hits (fourth), OPS (fifth, .985), total bases (fifth, 274), RBI (fifth), on-base percentage (eighth), runs (eighth) and slugging (10th).

Colin Poche, whom the Rays acquired as the Player to be Named Later as part of the Steven Souza deal back in February, has absolutely dominated this year in the bullpen for the Montgomery Biscuits and Durham Bulls. He perhaps had the best season by a reliever in all of baseball.

Following a spectacular first full pro season in 2017 (1.25 ERA, 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings, .174 opponent average), he somehow managed to improve this year. Among full-season Minor Leaguers with as many as his 66 innings, he ranked first in ERA and strikeout rate (15.0), second in WHIP and third in opponent average.

The Rays second team selections

Ronaldo Hernandez, the catcher has been among the most notable of breakout Rays prospects this season. Excelling, both behind the plate and with the bat, Hernandez has hit .284/.339/.494 with 21 HR and 10 SB for the Bowling Green Hot Rods this season over 449 plate appearances.

Brandon Lowe, the 2015 draft pick put on a power display early this season in Double-A and earned a quick promotion to Triple-A, with whom he put on ever more of a power display and eventually earned a spot on the Rays roster in the major leagues. After a slow start, Brandon Lowe currently sports a 129 wRC+ over 78 MLB plate appearances heading into tonight’s game.