Baseball America has released their Top-100 prospect list this morning, and impressed by featuring nine Rays prospects throughout, with teenage phenom Wander Franco popping up at No. 4 overall.
No. 4 - Wander Franco, SS
Hit: 70: | Power: 70 | Speed: 50 | Defense: 55 | Arm: 55
The most aggressive ranking of Franco to date, but the switch hitting rookie baller has the faith of the industry leader.
No. 23 - Brent Honeywell, RHP
Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 60 | Other (screwball): 70 | Control: 55
No sites seem to have lost faith that Honeywell’s stuff will return post Tommy John surgery. His major league ETA is projected aggressively to 2020.
No. 47 - Brendan McKay, LHP/1B
Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Cutter: 60
Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Speed: 40 | Defense: 45 | Arm: 50
McKay’s strongest projection is on the mound, but the Rays are committed to keeping him a two-way star.
No. 56 - Ronaldo Hernandez, C
Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Speed: 30 | Defense: 45 | Arm: 70
BA still thinks Hernandez has a long way to go from the Midwest League, offering an ETA of 2022.
No. 58 - Matthew Liberatore, LHP
Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 55
Curiously overlooked at a competing site, BA calls Liberatore “just another jewel” for the Rays crown. He also has a 2022 projection.
No. 62 - Jesus Sanchez, OF
Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Speed: 55 | Defense: 50 | Arm: 50
The grades here do not well reflect the walk issues we’ve seen in Sanchez’s profile thus far, but the ranking does.
No. 64 - Vidal Brujan, 2B
Hit: 60 | Power: 30 | Speed: 70 | Defense: 55 | Arm: 55
The projection remains to second base, even though BA calls Brujan notes him as an “athletic marvel.”
No. 93 - Brandon Lowe, 2B
Hit: 50: | Power: 55 | Speed: 55 | Defense: 50 | Arm: 45
Lowe surprised just about everyone when he hit his way past the myriad candidates for major league promotion last season, showing enough power to prove he belongs on the radar of top prospects, and likely in the majors as well.
No. 97 - Nate Lowe, 1B
Hit: 50: | Power: 60 | Speed: 30 | Defense: 50 | Arm: 40
Rounding out BA’s top-nine from their ranking earlier in the off-season, Nate Lowe is described as a “pure first baseman” by BA.
You can read BA’s full Top-10 prospect list analysis for the pre-season 2019 Rays here.
UPDATE - Baseball America has published a story on the Rays and Padres tying the record for most by one organization’s number of players in the top 100. Read it here.