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2019 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 6

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The Rays got a steal with the No. 16 pick last draft.

MILB: JUL 06 Gulf Coast League - GCL Orioles at GCL Rays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Previous winner

LHP Matthew Liberatore (6’5 200, 19 in 2019)

2018 statistics with the Gulf Coast League Rays and rookie-level Princeton: 32 23 IP, 1.38 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 10.2 BB%, 29.1 K%

The Rays were fortunate to land Liberatore — one of the top players available — with the No. 16 pick in the 2018 draft. His fastball sits in the low-90s, and he could add to that as he gets stronger. His curveball and changeup could both be plus pitches, and his ability to throw strikes is much better than the usual high school pitcher, although his walk rate was a bit high in his pro debut.


A few years ago, a vote with such a low winning percentage would’ve resulted in a runoff election. Now, we only do those in the case of ties. The next couple of votes could have similar results.

2019 Community prospect list

Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last season
Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last season
1 SS Wander Franco 39 43 90.7% 13
2 RHP Brent Honeywell 32 49 65.3% 1
3 1B/LHP Brendan McKay 26 53 49.1% 3
4 2B Brandon Lowe 21 50 42.0% 19
5 LHP Matthew Liberatore 13 46 28.3% N/A
6 OF Jesus Sanchez 17 48 35.4% 4
7 C Ronaldo Hernandez 22 44 50.0% 22
8 2B Vidal Brujan 32 48 66.7% 25
9 1B Nate Lowe 32 34 94.1% N/R
10 2B Nick Solak 12 35 34.3% 16
11 LHP Shane McClanahan 11 47 23.4% N/A
12 RHP Shane Baz 12 34 35.3% N/A
13 SS Lucius Fox 14 35 40.0% 12
14 OF Joe McCarthy 16 36 44.4% 18
15 OF Moises Gomez 12 31 38.7% N/R
16 LHP Anthony Banda 12 35 34.3% 9
17 LHP Resly Linares 13 37 35.1% 27
18 OF Josh Lowe 17 33 51.5% 11
19 LHP Colin Poche 20 37 54.1% N/A
20 SS Taylor Walls 15 33 45.5% N/R
21 OF Garrett Whitley 13 35 37.1% 8
22 OF Nick Schnell 15 35 42.9% N/A
23 C Michael Perez 11 33 33.3% N/A
24 RHP Jose De Leon 13 30 43.3% 10
25 RHP Ian Gibaut 14 31 45.2% N/R
26 OF/RHP Tanner Dodson 12 27 44.4% N/A
27 RHP Tobias Myers 10 28 35.7% 15
28 IF Tyler Frank 11 28 39.3% N/A
29 OF Ryan Boldt 12 28 42.9% 36
30 IF Tristan Gray 10 26 38.5% N/R
31 RHP Drew Strotman 32
32 RHP Sandy Gaston N/A
33 C Chris Betts N/R
34 SS Alejandro Pie N/A
35 C Nick Ciuffo 35
36 RHP Austin Franklin 14
37 SS Jelfry Marte N/R
38 RHP Michael Mercado 17
39 RHP Curtis Taylor 40
40 IF Andrew Velazquez N/R

RHP Shane Baz (6’3 190, 20 in 2019)

2018 statistics with rookie-level Bristol and rookie-level Princeton: 52 13 IP, 4.47 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 11.9 BB%, 24.2 K%

Acquired in the Chris Archer trade, Baz has some of the best stuff in the system, but he is young and has quite a bit of work to do in order to move up the organization. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s and can touch higher, and his secondary offerings have promise as well, particularly his slider, which Baseball America rates as the best in the organization ($). He has struggled with control so far in his pro career, however.

2B Vidal Brujan (S/R, 5’9 155, 21 in 2019)

2018 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 548 PA, .320/.403/.453, 55/74 SB, 9 HR, 41 XBH, 11.5 BB%, 12.4 K%

Brujan was second in the minors in steals, and he had the most steals in the organization since Andrew Toles had 62 in 2013. His game is built around that impressive speed. He has a swing geared toward line drives, and he has a great plate approach that helps him get on base as much as possible. Defensively, he’s fine at second base and could probably play center field thanks to his athleticism.

C Ronaldo Hernandez (R/R, 6’1 185, 21 in 2019)

2018 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 449 PA, .284/.339/.494, 21 HR, 42 XBH, 10/14 SB, 6.9 BB%, 15.4 K%

Hernandez was a star with Princeton in 2017, and he was nearly as good in his full-season debut in 2018. He was second among minor league catchers in home runs (Baseball America $). He makes consistent contact as well. However, he has a lot of work to do behind the plate. His plus arm helps him manage the run game, but he has to improve his receiving to stick at catcher.

1B Nate Lowe (L/R, 6’4 235, 23 in 2019)

2018 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte, Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham: 555 PA, .330/.416/.548, 27 HR, 60 XBH, 12.3 BB%, 16.2 K%

Prior to 2018, Lowe had 11 home runs in 757 plate appearances. An adjustment to his swing allowed the 2016 13th-round pick to tap into plus power and emerge as one of the organization’s top sluggers. He did it with a great plate approach, and his .330 average was third among Rays minor leaguers. He will have to hit because he doesn’t offer much on the bases or in the field.

OF Jesus Sanchez (L/R, 6’3 210, 21 in 2019)

2018 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 488 PA, .282/.324/.433, 11 HR, 45 XBH, 5.3 BB%, 18.9 K%

Sanchez continued his steady progress toward the majors in 2018 and earned a spot in the Futures Game. He has the hit tool and power potential to play a corner-outfield spot, where he belongs defensively. Despite not stealing many bases, he is a good athlete. While he can make contact with a lot of pitches, he has to become more selective, and he will continue to be tested when he returns to Double A in 2019.