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.
Anthony Banda was one of a number of Rays prospects who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018. If he’s going to be able to help them in 2019, it’s likely going to be very late in the season and out of the bullpen.
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|
RHP Jose De Leon (6’1 220, 26 in 2019)
2018 statistics: Did not pitch
De Leon missed all of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery. That came on the heels of an injury-plagued 2017 season that saw him go on the disabled list three times. When healthy, he was one of the top strikeout pitchers in the minors, and he also threw a lot of strikes. His fastball sat in the low-90s, and his changeup was his best pitch. His slider had above-average potential too.
OF/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.
IF Tyler Frank (R/R, 6’0 185, 22 in 2019)
2018 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 226 PA, .288/.425/.412, 2 HR, 17 XBH, 3/6 SB, 14.6 BB%, 12.4 K%
Frank was a high school teammate of Lucius Fox, our No. 13 prospect. He’s a versatile player. As a professional, he spent significant time at shortstop, third base, and second base. As an amateur, he’s also played catcher and left field. He has a strong plate approach and had more walks than strikeouts in his debut. He makes good contact and could develop a little more power.
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 ($), but they haven’t been consistently put to use in game action in his pro career. BA rated him as the best defensive outfielder in the organization, and he has the power potential to profile in a corner position if that’s where he winds up. However, he hasn’t hit for much power in games yet, and he’s going to have to make more consistent contact.
LHP Colin Poche (6’3 185, 25 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Double-A Jackson, Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham: 66 IP, 0.82 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 7.9 BB%, 45.6 K%
Acquired as a player to be named later in the Steven Souza Jr. trade, Poche was the best reliever in minor league baseball in 2018. Only one pitcher with 60 or more innings had a lower ERA, and none had a higher strikeout rate. He was able to do that with average fastball velocity and an above-average breaking ball, but thanks to his high-spin invisiball, he was nearly untouchable last season.
OF Nick Schnell (L/R, 6’3 180, 19 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Gulf Coast League Rays: 82 PA, .239/.378/.373, 1 HR, 6 XBH, 2/8 SB, 17.1 BB%, 28.0 K%
Schnell was the Rays’ third first-round pick in the 2018 draft, but it’s hard to glean much from his pro debut since he only played in 19 games — other than hopefully he steals bases more efficiently in the future. In that debut, he played mostly center field, but that may not last. If it doesn’t, he has the power potential to profile in a corner outfield position, and he has a good arm too.
SS Taylor Walls (S/R, 5’10 180, 22 in 2019)
2018 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 540 PA, .304/.393/.428, 40 XBH, 31/43 SB, 12.2 BB%, 14.8 K%
Walls was a steady performer for Bowling Green and only had one full month with an OPS below .800. He didn’t hit for a lot of power, but he did make a lot of contact and reached base frequently. He was also more active on the bases than he had been in college. That consistency was also evident on the infield. He was named the best defensive shortstop in the Midwest League (Baseball America ($) 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.