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.
Thanks to a strong season, Shane Baz moved up quite a bit in the poll this offseason, and it was a very convincing vote.
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|
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.
C Ronaldo Hernandez (R/R, 6’1 185, 22 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 427 PA, .265/.299/.397, 9 HR, 31 XBH, 4.0 BB% 15.2 K%
It’s crucial that Hernandez’s defense improved in 2019, but he didn’t hit as well after moving up a level. His aggressive plate approach may have caught up with him. He still excelled putting his bat on the ball, but he has to be more patient to make less weak contact. If he’s able to do that, he’ll be able to tap into his plus raw power, like he did with Bowling Green in 2018.
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.
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 $).
LHP Shane McClanahan (6’1 200, 23 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green, Class A-Advanced Charlotte, and Double-A Montgomery: 120 2⁄3 IP, 3.36 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.9 BB%, 30.6 K%
Due to a previous Tommy John surgery and inconsistent control, McClanahan came with risks when the Rays drafted him with the No. 31 pick in 2018. As expected, he struck out a lot of batters in his first full pro season, but he also showed improved control as the season progressed. As long as he stays healthy, he could be a mid-rotation starter with a plus-plus fastball and improving secondary pitches.
RHP Joe Ryan (6’1 185, 24 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green, Class A-Advanced Charlotte, and Double-A Montgomery: 123 2⁄3 IP, 1.96 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 5.6 BB%, 38.0 K%
Ryan came out of nowhere in 2019 and was one of the best pitchers in minor league baseball. He leans heavily on a fastball that batters have a hard time picking up, and he finished second in the minors in strikeouts. His velocity may only be above average, but he commands his fastball well and throws a lot of strikes. His changeup can be above average, and he has to improve his breaking ball.
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.