SS Lucius Fox (S/R, 6’1 180, 21 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 524 PA, .268/.351/.341, 20 2B, 29/38 SB, 9.5 BB%, 18.9 K%
Like 2017, Fox had a solid season repeating the level he was at the previous season and then struggled to close the year at a tougher level. His overall statistics were strikingly similar, but for a player whose offensive game is predicated on speed and contact, it’s good that he cut down on his strikeout rate. Both Baseball America ($) and Keith Law (ESPN $) spoke positively about his defense.
For the first time this offseason, I’m going to have a one-tester limit. I won’t just accept the first one though. Post the player you want even if you’re not the first one, and other readers can use the rec feature to help decide which player should be next up on the poll.
2019 Community prospect list
|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|
LHP Anthony Banda (6’2 190, 25 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Tampa Bay: 14 2⁄3 IP, 3.68 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 5.4 BB%, 17.9 K%
2018 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 42 IP, 3.64 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 9.9 BB%, 26.9 K%
Banda was one of two players acquired by the Rays immediately in the Steven Souza Jr. trade. With Durham, his strikeout rate was higher than it’s ever been, but he still walked too many batters. After a few solid appearances in the majors and a return to the minors, he underwent Tommy John surgery and could miss all of 2019. In the majors, he leaned heavily on his 94 mph fastball, and his changeup and breaking ball have above-average potential.
CF/RHP Tanner Dodson (S/R, 6’1 160, 22 in 2019)
2018 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 224 PA, .273/.344/.369, 2 HR, 12 XBH, 8/11 SB, 8.9 BB%, 15.2 K% — 25 IP, 1.44 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 5.4 BB%, 26.9 K%
Dodson is generally viewed more favorably as a pitcher, but he showed promise as a hitter in his pro debut. He’s a very good athlete and uses that to his advantage at the plate by putting the ball in play and working his way on base. On the mound, he became more effective after a permanent switch to the bullpen. He throws a lot of strikes with a mid-90s fastball and potentially plus slider.
OF Moises Gomez (R/R, 5’11 200, 20 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 516 PA, .280/.328/.503, 19 HR, 60 XBH, 6.6 BB%, 26.6 K%
On a team with Vidal Brujan, Ronaldo Hernandez, and Brendan McKay, Gomez could have been overlooked, but his performance couldn’t be ignored. He owned just 12 professional home runs in three seasons prior to 2018, but he started hitting for power in games and was one of the Midwest League’s top sluggers. Moving forward, he has to improve his pitch recognition and defense.
LHP Resly Linares (6’2 170, 21 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 84 1⁄3 IP, 3.20 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 7.3 BB%, 28.2 K%
Linares was one of the Rays’ more effective pitching prospects last season, but a trip to the DL that cost him 1 1⁄2 months limited him to 84 1⁄3 innings. In his second start of the season, he threw seven no-hit innings, and over the course of the season, he was able to increase his strikeout rate and reduce his walk rate compared to 2017. His curveball is his best pitch, and he has room to add strength and improve his average fastball velocity.
OF Josh Lowe (L/R, 6’4 205, 21 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 455 PA, .238/.322/.361, 6 HR, 34 XBH, 18/24 SB, 10.3 BB%, 25.7 K%
Josh Lowe has the best tools out of all the Lowes in the organization (Baseball America ($), but they haven’t been consistently put to use in game action in his pro career. BA rated him as the best defensive outfielder in the organization, and he has the power potential to profile in a corner position if that’s where he winds up. However, he hasn’t hit for much power in games yet, and he’s going to have to make more consistent contact.
OF Joe McCarthy (L/L, 6’3 225, 25 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 191 PA, .269/.377/.513, 8 HR, 22 XBH, 13.1 BB%, 22.5 K%
McCarthy was limited to 47 games with Durham, although he did recoup some of those missed plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League. When he did play, he showed a significant increase in power — tying a career high in home runs despite only getting half as many plate appearances — and still got on base at a high rate. When he’s healthy, he’s a decent athlete who can add value on the bases.
LHP Colin Poche (6’3 185, 25 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Double-A Jackson, Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham: 66 IP, 0.82 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 7.9 BB%, 45.6 K%
Acquired as a player to be named later in the Steven Souza Jr. trade, Poche was the best reliever in minor league baseball in 2018. Only one pitcher with 60 or more innings had a lower ERA, and none had a higher strikeout rate. He was able to do that with average fastball velocity and an above-average breaking ball, but thanks to his high-spin invisiball, he was nearly untouchable last season.
OF Nick Schnell (L/R, 6’3 180, 19 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Gulf Coast League Rays: 82 PA, .239/.378/.373, 1 HR, 6 XBH, 2/8 SB, 17.1 BB%, 28.0 K%
Schnell was the Rays’ third first-round pick in the 2018 draft, but it’s hard to glean much from his pro debut since he only played in 19 games — other than hopefully he steals bases more efficiently in the future. In that debut, he played mostly center field, but that may not last. If it doesn’t, he has the power potential to profile in a corner outfield position, and he has a good arm too.
SS Taylor Walls (S/R, 5’10 180, 22 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 540 PA, .304/.393/.428, 40 XBH, 31/43 SB, 12.2 BB%, 14.8 K%
Walls was a steady performer for Bowling Green and only had one full month with an OPS below .800. He didn’t hit for a lot of power, but he did make a lot of contact and reached base frequently. He was also more active on the bases than he had been in college. That consistency was also evident on the infield. He was named the best defensive shortstop in the Midwest League (Baseball America ($) and best defensive player in the organization.
OF Garrett Whitley (R/R, 6’1 195, 22 in 2019)
2018 statistics: Did not play
Whitley missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing labrum surgery at the end of spring training. In August, he began throwing again. He had a rough April in 2017, but he began to showcase his potential the rest of the season with Bowling Green, showing his speed and beginning to hit for some power. If he’s able to return healthy, he’ll have to continue to cut down on his strikeouts.