Here is a collection of fun facts about the Rays 2019 top draft picks, collected from Rays PR releases and other various sources.
The switch-hitting shortstop received 80-grade speed appraisals, the highest possible grade, with Baseball America calling his speed the best in the draft. If you didn’t know, now you know; he’s fast.
Ranked as the No. 14 overall player in this year’s draft by ESPN (Keith Law), No. 24 by MLB.com, and No. 33 by Baseball America, Goss was a gift at No. 36 in the draft, which is fitting; Goss was born on December 25, 2000.
If signed, Goss would become the second youngest drafted prospect in the Rays system (2018 fifth round pick Taj Bradley was born in 2001).
Johnson spent his first two college seasons at Louisburg (N.C.) JC, primarily as a shortstop, totaling only 6 IP as a sophomore before he transferred to Campbell and earned the No. 1 spot in their starting rotation. One season of pitching is all it took to get a first round draft selection from the Rays.
“Dox-ACK-iss” attended Lamar HS in Houston, the same school that produced future first rounders Jeff Niemann, Joe Savery and Anthony Rendon.
A varsity bowling player, Sasaki once scored in the 260’s.
Began the season as the top-ranked pitcher in this draft class, according to Baseball America, despite spending most of his sophomore season at Duke as a reliever. Hopes of transferring to a full time role in the rotation (he had 13 starts in his first two seasons) were sidelined this year by a hamstring injury.
According to his UC Santa Barbara profile, his favorite movie is Moneyball.
The Foxworth, Mississippi native has a fastball that has run up to 98 mph this season. He struck out 45 batters and walked just seven in 24.2 innings for the Bulldogs after transferring from Jones College.
Reached base safely in his first 50 games for the Horned Frogs, the 3rd-longest on-base streak in a single season in Big 12 history.
8 - RHP Nathan Wiles (JR), No. 248
Wiles’s 37 career starts rank fifth all time at OU during the Big 12 era.
9 - RHP Evan McKendry (JR), No. 278
As a sophomore, McKendry became the first University of Miami Hurricanes pitcher since 2014 to reach 100 strikeouts.
10 - C Jonathan Embry (SR), No. 308
Began his collegiate career as a walk-on and was red-shirted as a freshman before earning a scholarship with the Liberty Flames. Embry was named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, becoming the fifth player from Liberty to win this award. He also earned first team All-ASUN honors, leading the conference with 56 runs and 59 BB and ranking among conference leaders in doubles (tied for 3rd), homers (2nd) and slugging (4th).