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Where are they now? Checking in on former Rays prospects

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Several dozen prospects who used to play for the Rays are still in minor league baseball.

Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers
Andrew Friedman has acquired several former Rays prospects, including Jaime Schultz
Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

I ran a post like this last year and decided to try it again. I went through every minor league roster looking for players with ties to the Rays. That’s 116 rosters totaling thousands of players, so it is possible that I missed some.

I highlighted every player I found who left the organization with remaining prospect eligibility. At the end of the post, I also listed even more former Rays who are still playing minor league baseball.

Roster assignments are as of Sunday, and specific stats are as of Tuesday.

RHP R.J. Alaniz — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
How acquired: Minor league free agency following 2017 season
How lost: Free agency following 2018 season

Despite not having yet reached the majors, Alaniz signed a major league contract with the Mariners in November. He has since made his debut, although his time with the big club hasn’t gone well.

C Alexander Alvarez — Double-A Biloxi (Milwaukee)
How acquired: Signed for $150,000 (2013)
How lost: Minor league Rule 5 draft (2018)

Alvarez signed for $150,000 (Baseball America $), but his bat never made the investment pay off. Despite a career .286 on-base percentage, Milwaukee had him skip over Class A-Advanced, and he’s now struggling in Double A.

RHP Jeff Ames — Double-A Pensacola (Minnesota)
How acquired: No. 42 pick (2011)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

Ames is now in his third organization since leaving the Rays. Thoracic outlet syndrome in 2014 seemed to have hurt his ability to throw strikes.

RHP Peter Bayer — Class A-Advanced Stockton (Oakland)
How acquired: No. 270 pick (2016)
How lost: Traded to Oakland for Wilmer Font (2018)

With Princeton in his pro debut, Bayer was untouchable — he had 45 strikeouts and three walks in 32 23 innings. He hasn’t been as effective in full-season leagues. In 2018, he pitched just 5 13 innings between two organizations, and he remains in the California League this season.

LHP Kyle Bird — Triple-A Nashville (Texas)
How acquired: No. 1,057 pick (2014)
How lost: Traded to Texas in Jurickson Profar trade (2018)

The Rays added Bird to the 40-man roster in November, but he was traded a month later. Like Alaniz, he made his big league debut this season, but he struggled in a small amount of innings and finds himself back in the minors.

RHP Bryan Bonnell — Double-A Arkansas (Seattle)
How acquired: No. 1,078 pick (2015)
How lost: Traded to Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2017)

Specifically, Bonnell was traded for international bonus money. He had reached Charlotte before being dealt.

LHP Brock Burke — Double-A Frisco (Texas)
How acquired: No. 96 pick (2014)
How lost: Traded to Texas in Jurickson Profar trade (2018)

Burke was the organization’s pitcher of the year last season, but the Rays saw an opportunity to manage the influx of additions to the 40-man roster, plus pick up a draft pick and add Emilio Pagan. He’s on the injured list with a blister problem.

LHP Genesis Cabrera — Triple-A Memphis (St. Louis)
How acquired: Signed for $34,000 (2013)
How lost: Traded to St. Louis in Tommy Pham trade (2018)

Cabrera is struggling in his introduction to Triple A, but perhaps he’s also a victim of the MLB baseballs. He’s walked two or more in every outing and hasn’t pitched longer than 4 13 innings.

LHP Ryan Carpenter — Triple-A Toledo (Detroit)
How acquired: No. 240 pick (2011)
How lost: Released in 2014

Carpenter made his big league debut for the rebuilding Tigers last season but didn’t pitch very well. He’s been solid for Toledo this season and is still on Detroit’s 40-man roster.

RHP Yoel Espinal — Triple-A Nashville (Texas)
How acquired: Minor league Rule 5 draft (2015)
How lost: Traded to Texas in Jurickson Profar trade (2018)

Espinal has always had great stuff, but if he doesn’t throw strikes more consistently, he’s going to have a hard time carving out a major league role.

OF Jake Fraley — Double-A Arkansas (Seattle)
How acquired: No. 77 pick (2016)
How lost: Traded to Seattle in Mike Zunino trade (2018)

Fraley struggled with injuries while with the Rays, but he’s been healthy this season and playing well. Whether it’s to maintain that health or improve versatility, he’s been playing more corner outfield with his new organization.

OF Tyler Goeddel — Double-A Harrisburg (Washington)
How acquired: No. 41 pick (2011)
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2015)

Goeddel hasn’t been back to the majors since he stuck with the Phillies for a season after being selected in the Rule 5 draft. He’s in his third organization since then, including Andrew Friedman’s Dodgers.

OF Granden Goetzman — Double-A Corpus Christi (Houston)
How acquired: No. 75 pick (2011)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

In 2018, Goetzman played for two organizations — St. Louis and Houston. His only two games with Houston were in the New York-Penn League, a league he was pretty overqualified for. He remains with Houston and has displayed a much more patient approach at the plate than he has in the past.

RHP Taylor Guerrieri — Triple-A Nashville (Texas)
How acquired: No. 24 pick (2011)
How lost: Claimed by Toronto on waivers (2017)

Guerrieri finally made his major league debut in 2018, and nearly half of his appearances for Toronto came against the Rays. He signed with the Rangers in minor league free agency, but after six appearances for Nashville, he landed on the IL.

IF Jake Hager — Triple-A San Antonio (Milwaukee)
How acquired: No. 32 pick (2011)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

For a second straight season since leaving the Rays, Hager is with Milwaukee. He was invited to major league spring training, and with his versatility, a cup of coffee may be in reach for him.

LHP Jordan Harrison — Double-A Mississippi (Atlanta)
How acquired: No. 782 pick (2012)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2018 season

Only once in his career has Harrison spent an entire season at just one affiliate. As he climbed up the ladder, his walk rate also increased.

C Jonah Heim — Double-A Midland (Oakland)
How acquired: Traded from Baltimore in Steve Pearce trade (2016)
How lost: Traded to Oakland for Joey Wendle (2017)

Heim is now a top-30 prospect for the A’s (BA $) with nice defensive potential and improving offense. The Rays are likely still satisfied with that trade.

C Oscar Hernandez — Triple-A Pawtucket (Boston)
How acquired: Signed in 2010
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2014)

In his first season with Boston, Hernandez was suspended and also struggled when on the field. However, the Red Sox liked him enough to keep him around and even invited him to spring training this season.

RHP Chih-Wei Hu — Triple-A Columbus (Cleveland)
How acquired: Traded from Minnesota in Kevin Jepsen trade (2015)
How lost: Traded to Cleveland for Gionti Turner (2018)

In the early going in his new organization, Hu’s strikeout rate is a career low, and his walk rate has increased. He’s still only 25.

OF Bralin Jackson — Double-A Altoona (Pittsburgh)
How acquired: No. 182 pick (2012)
How lost: Released in 2016

After a year out of affiliated baseball, Jackson is in his second season with Pittsburgh. His offense so far has been better, but it still hasn’t been as good as his solid season with Bowling Green in 2015.

RHP Brandon Lawson — Double-A Richmond (San Francisco)
How acquired: No. 360 pick (2016)
How lost: Released in 2019

Lawson was somewhat surprisingly released in spring training, but exactly one month after he was, the Giants picked him up. He’s made one appearance in his new organization.

OF Braxton Lee — Double-A Binghamton (Mets)
How acquired: No. 367 pick (2014)
How lost: Traded to Miami in Adeiny Hechavarria trade (2017)

In just one year, Lee went from making Miami’s Opening Day roster to being a minor league Rule 5 pick. At three minor league levels last season, he slugged under .300. He’s rebounded so far this season, and he could get back to the majors in the future.

RHP Zach Lee — Triple-A Syracuse (Mets)
How acquired: Minor league free agent (2018)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2018 season

Lee was very good for Montgomery last season but struggled in nearly just as many innings with Durham. He finds himself back in the International League this season.

3B Patrick Leonard — Double-A Biloxi (Milwaukee)
How acquired: Traded for in James Shields trade (2012)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2017 season

After a couple OK seasons in Triple A, Leonard is back in Double A. He’s in his second organization since leaving the Rays.

LHP Kyle Lobstein — Triple-A Las Vegas (Oakland)
How acquired: No. 47 pick (2008)
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2012)

It’s been nearly three years since Lobstein pitched in the majors. He turns 30 in August. Since the Rays traded him, he’s been in six organizations, including Friedman’s Dodgers.

RHP Parker Markel — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
How acquired: No. 1,181 pick (2010)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2016 season

Markel was viewed as a sleeper early in his Rays career, but his results never quite matched the stuff. Now 28, he has an absurd 58.7 percent strikeout rate across two levels with Seattle.

LHP Anthony Misiewicz — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
How acquired: Traded from Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2017)
How lost: Traded to Seattle for international bonus money (2017)

I will never forget the five-start Misiewicz era in Montgomery. He had a poor 2018 in Double A, but so far this season, he’s pitched like someone who might be ready for Triple A.

IF Taylor Motter — Double-A Erie (Detroit)
How acquired: No. 540 pick (2011)
How lost: Traded to Seattle in one of dozens of minor trades the two organizations have made (2016)

Motter is more well known for his hot start to the 2017 season, but he had a .820 OPS in 17 plate appearances for Seattle in 2018 too. Since then, he was waived, claimed by Minnesota, released by Minnesota, and after signing a minor league deal with Detroit in spring training, finds himself in Double A.

RHP Willy Oritz — Double-A New Hampshire (Toronto)
How acquired: Sign in 2012
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2018 season

Ortiz has good stuff (BA $) and had some good results with the Rays, but he left in minor league free agency. He started the season on the IL and recently made his 2019 debut.

OF Boog Powell — Triple-A El Paso (San Diego)
How acquired: Traded from Oakland in Ben Zobrist trade (2015)
How lost: Traded to Seattle in Logan Morrison trade (2015)

Powell was only with the Rays one season, but he played well enough to boost his stock and become a top-10 prospect for Seattle. After being traded back to Oakland — his original organization — he showed some promise in limited plate appearances, but he tested free agency after the 2018 season and ended up with San Diego.

IF Juniel Querecuto — Triple-A Reno (Arizona)
How acquired: Signed in 2009
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2016 season

For the second straight season, Querecuto is with the Diamondbacks, and he was in big league spring training this season. He hasn’t played in the majors since he played four games for the Rays in 2016.

RHP Matt Ramsey — Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels)
How acquired: No. 600 pick (2011)
How lost: Traded to Miami for international bonus money (2014)

Ramsey has always posted solid numbers in the minors, and at 29 years old, he finally made his major league debut. He missed 1 12 years with an injury (Baseball Prospectus $), and in 2017, he had a 5.26 ERA in 49 23 innings. The Angels are his fourth organization since being traded by the Rays.

RHP Gerardo Reyes — Triple-A El Paso (San Diego)
How acquired: Signed as undrafted free agent (2013)
How lost: Traded to San Diego in Wil Myers trade (2014)

After being traded by the Rays, Reyes missed his entire first season with San Diego. He has moved steadily through the organization, got added to the 40-man roster over the offseason, and made his major league debut in 2019.

LHP Hunter Schryver — Double-A Birmingham (White Sox)
How acquired: No. 199 pick (2017)
How lost: Traded to White Sox for international bonus money (2018)

Throughout his brief professional career, Schryver has been an effective reliever. He’s had another nice start in 2019, but he’ll have to reduce his walk rate to what it was in previous seasons.

RHP Jaime Schultz — Triple-A Oklahoma City (Dodgers)
How acquired: No. 428 pick (2013)
How lost: Traded to Dodgers for Caleb Sampen (2019)

Schultz was designated for assignment by the Rays in January and quickly traded to Friedman’s Dodgers. He has thrown a few innings for Los Angeles but still needs to figure out how to throw more strikes.

RHP Burch Smith — Triple-A San Antonio (Milwaukee)
How acquired: Traded from San Diego in Wil Myers trade (2014)
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2017)

After dealing with numerous injuries, Smith returned to the majors in 2018 for the first time since 2013 when he was a prospect with the Padres. He had a tough season and signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee. He’s been very effective so far this season.

RHP Forrest Snow — Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels)
How acquired: Minor league free agent (2018)
How lost: Minor league free agency following 2018 season

For the ninth straight season, Snow has appeared in a Triple A game. He still hasn’t reached the majors.

IF Riley Unroe — Class A-Advanced Florida (Atlanta)
How acquired: No. 60 pick (2013)
How lost: Rule 5 draft (2017)

For the second straight season, Unroe was chosen in the minor league Rule 5 draft. He’s hitting well in the Florida State League through one month, but that’s a league he’s been in before.

C Stephen Vogt — Triple-A Sacramento (San Francisco)
How acquired: No. 365 pick (2007)
How lost: Traded to Oakland (2013)

While writing this post, Vogt was called up to the majors. A shoulder injury cost him the 2018 season, but the two-time All-Star is back in the big leagues.


LHP Xavier Cedeno — Double-A Tennessee (Cubs)
RHP Tyler Cloyd — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
IF Jake Elmore — Triple-A Indianapolis (Pittsburgh)
IF Taylor Featherston — Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City)
OF Johnny Field — Triple-A Iowa (Cubs)
IF Nick Franklin — Triple-A Indianapolis (Pittsburgh)
RHP Ryan Garton — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
OF Carlos Gomez — Triple-A Syracuse (Mets)
OF Brandon Guyer — Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox)
SS Adeiny Hechavarria — Triple-A Syracuse (Mets)
RHP Nate Karns — Double-A Bowie (Baltimore)
C Jose Lobaton — Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle)
OF Mikie Mahtook — Triple-A Toledo (Detroit)
RHP J.D. Martin — Double-A Tulsa (Dodgers)
2B Brad Miller — Triple-A Scranton (Yankees)
C Adam Moore — Triple-A Nashville (Texas)
C Dioner Navarro — Triple-A Columbus (Cleveland)
LHP Vidal Nuno III — Triple-A Fresno (Washington)
OF Cesar Puello — Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels)
RHP Erasmo Ramirez — Triple-A Pawtucket (Boston)
OF Rob Refsnyder — Triple-A Louisville (Cincinnati)
C Rene Rivera — Triple-A Syracuse (Mets)
RHP Ryan Weber — Triple-A Pawtucket (Boston)