DH/LHP Brendan McKay (L/L, 6’2 212, 24 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Tampa Bay: 11 PA, .200/.273/.500, 1 HR, 9.1 BB%, 18.2 K% — 49 IP, 5.14 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 7.4 BB%, 25.9 K%
2019 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 168 PA, .200/.298/.331, 5 HR, 9 XBH, 10.1 BB%, 30.4 K% — 73 2⁄3 IP, 1.10 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 6.5 BB%, 36.7 K%
Prior to the season, the Rays announced that McKay wouldn’t play the field in order to streamline his two-way development. However, the results at the plate still weren’t there. However, on the mound, he remained one of the top pitchers in the minors and got quite a few innings in the majors as well. He gets it done with impressive command of good stuff, led by his curveball. His fastball and changeup can both be above-average pitches.
With 49 innings last season, Brendan McKay nearly exhausted rookie eligibility. However, he is still a prospect for now.
I’ll take up to two testers this poll.
2020 Community prospect list
|1||SS Wander Franco||57||57||100.0%||1|
|2||DH/LHP Brendan McKay||136||251||54.2%||3|
|3||IF Vidal Brujan||66||197||33.5%||8|
|4||RHP Shane Baz||82||207||39.6%||12|
|5||OF Josh Lowe||72||257||28.0%||18|
|6||LHP Shane McClanahan||50||193||25.9%||11|
|7||IF/OF Yoshitomo Tsutsugo||68||227||30.0%||N/A|
|8||IF Xavier Edwards||78||178||43.8%||N/A|
|9||OF Randy Arozarena||Special||election||N/A|
|10||C Ronaldo Hernandez||71||185||38.4%||7|
|11||RHP Brent Honeywell||81||147||55.1%||2|
|12||SS Greg Jones||121||260||46.5%||N/A|
|13||RHP Joe Ryan||106||214||49.5%||N/R|
|14||3B Kevin Padlo||79||179||44.1%||N/R|
|15||IF Taylor Walls||65||156||41.7%||20|
|16||RHP JJ Goss||49||129||38.0%||N/A|
|17||OF Nick Schnell||38||109||34.9%||22|
|18||LHP Anthony Banda||38||139||27.3%||16|
|19||RHP Riley O'Brien||45||145||31.0%||N/R|
|20||SS Lucius Fox||30||122||24.6%||13|
|21||OF Moises Gomez||35||117||29.9%||15|
|22||RHP Taj Bradley||88||169||52.1%||N/R|
|23||LHP John Doxakis||32||107||29.9%||N/A|
|24||RHP Seth Johnson||39||119||32.8%||N/A|
|25||C Michael Perez||24||113||21.2%||23|
|26||LHP Josh Fleming||36||146||24.7%||N/R|
|27||OF Garrett Whitley||28||110||25.5%||21|
|28||OF Niko Hulsizer|
|29||LHP Michael Plassmeyer|
|30||RHP Peter Fairbanks|
|31||SS Alejandro Pie|
|32||RHP Drew Strotman|
|33||OF Jhon Diaz|
|34||C Chris Betts|
|35||RHP Sandy Gaston|
|36||LHP Resly Linares|
|37||C Brett Sullivan|
|38||RHP Joel Peguero|
|39||RHP Tobias Myers|
|40||IF Ford Proctor|
RHP Shane Baz (6’2 190, 21 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 81 1⁄3 IP, 2.99 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 10.8 BB%, 25.4 K%
In his first full season in the organization, Baz made strides with his control, posting a career-low walk rate. After the season, he turned heads in the Arizona Fall League as the youngest pitcher in the league. MLB.com reported that he had the best fastball and breaking ball among AFL prospects. He has to continue improving his control and his changeup.
IF Vidal Brujan (S/R, 5’9 155, 22 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 429 PA, .277/.346/.389, 48/61 SB, 28 XBH, 8.6 BB%, 14.2 K%
For the second straight season, Brujan led the organization in steals. In addition to his work on the bases, he uses his athleticism in the field and spent quite a bit of time at shortstop for the first time in his career. It’s believed he could play a good center field if necessary. At the plate, he’s known for his plate approach. He knows the strike zone and hardly strikes out. He may not hit for much power.
IF Xavier Edwards (S/R, 5’10 175, 20 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Fort Wayne and Class A-Advanced Lake Elsinore: 561 PA, .322/.375/.396, 34/45 SB, 27 XBH, 7.8 BB%, 9.6 K%
Edwards — acquired in the trade that sent Tommy Pham to San Diego — was impressive in his first full pro season. He reached the Padres’ equivalent of Charlotte and was selected by Team USA for its Olympic qualifying bid. He uses his plus-plus speed to have success. He knows the strike zone and how to get his bat on the ball, but he may never develop much power. His arm strength may limit him to second base.
RHP Brent Honeywell (6’2 195, 25 in 2020)
Did not pitch in 2019
It was another lost season for Honeywell. After Tommy John surgery cost him 2018, a broken elbow cost him 2019. When he last pitched, he had great stuff and threw strikes with a hard fastball, and impressive secondary pitches — a screwball, changeup, and slider.
LHP Matthew Liberatore (6’5 200, 20 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 78 1⁄3 IP, 3.10 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 9.3 BB%, 22.9 K%
On draft night in 2018, Liberatore appeared to be one of the steals of the draft. His 2019 performance only made that more clear. His stuff isn’t overpowering, but it is very good. His fastball sits in the low-90s, and his curveball is his best pitch. He has to improve his changeup. Except for a couple starts last season, he threw a lot of strikes and should have very good command in the future.
OF Josh Lowe (L/R, 6’4 205, 22 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: 519 PA, .252/.341/.442, 18 HR, 45 XBH, 30/39 SB, 11.4 BB%, 25.4 K%
Lowe started his professional career as a third baseman, but he quickly transitioned to center field and became the best defensive outfielder in the organization. At the plate, he’s coming off a breakout season with Montgomery. He nearly doubled his career home run total, remained a threat on the bases, and maintained a slightly lower strikeout rate. He then stood out in the Arizona Fall League (ESPN $).
IF/OF Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (L/R, 6’0 214, 28 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Yokohama: 557 PA, .272/.388/.511, 29 HR, 53 XBH, 15.8 BB%, 25.3 K%
There weren’t a lot of Rays rumors at the Winter Meetings, but it was reported that they were signing Tsutsugo, a top slugger from Japan. He’s been in the top 10 in the Central League in home runs in six straight seasons thanks to his power to all fields. He’s also a very patient hitter. He’ll need that power and patience to provide value in the majors because he’s bounced around defensively and hasn’t been able to find a home in the field.