IF Taylor Walls (S/R, 5’10 180, 23 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 423 PA, .270/.343/.452, 10 HR, 40 XBH, 28/43 SB, 10.6 BB%, 18.7 K%
An injury kept Walls from really starting his season until May, but it didn’t affect him much, as he was able to finish the season in Double A. Known as one of the better defenders in the organization, he gained versatility last season, often sharing the field with other prospects who needed innings at shortstop. At the plate, he makes consistent contact, knows the strike zone, and showed a little more power in 2019.
With Taylor Walls on the list, the first half of it includes 10 hitters, four pitchers, and Brendan McKay. Last year, the top half of the list included 10 hitters, four pitchers, and McKay.
I’ll take up to one tester this poll. Use recommendations to determine who that player is if more than one gets nominated.
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|
LHP Anthony Banda (6’2 225, 26 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Tampa Bay: 4 IP, 6.75 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 0.0 BB%, 11.1 K%
2019 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 28 1⁄3 IP, 6.04 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 9.2 BB%, 22.5 K%
Prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018, Banda was pitching well for Durham. He returned to the mound in June and finished his season in the big leagues. In his final appearance for the Bulls, he struck out six in five innings, his longest outing of the season. His velocity was down in his brief stint in the majors, but when he’s at his best, he throws in the mid-90s with an average changeup and slider.
OF Jhon Diaz (L/L, 5’11 160, 17 in 2020)
Signed Aug. 29
Diaz was the Rays’ top signing in the international period, and he was ranked No. 18 in the class by MLB.com. The Yankees were expected to sign him, but the deal fell through, giving the Rays an opportunity. He’s known for his performance in games, but he has good tools too. At the plate, he should make consistent contact with a nice plate approach and potential for average power. In the field, he could play a decent center field.
LHP John Doxakis (6’4 215, 21 in 2020)
2019 statistics with short-season Hudson Valley: 32 2⁄3 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 8.5 BB%, 23.8 K%
Doxakis had a strong pro debut after the Rays made him a second-round pick, which isn’t surprising considering his success in college baseball’s toughest conference. He’s an advanced pitcher who throws strikes with a deceptive delivery. His stuff is just average across the board, although Baseball America’s most recent report ($) has a little higher velocity than its predraft report ($). He also throws a slider and changeup.
SS Lucius Fox (S/R, 6’1 180, 22 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 480 PA, .221/.331/.327, 39/50 SB, 28 XBH, 12.3 BB%, 21.7 K%
In an organization filled with athletes, Fox is one of the best. He has at least 29 steals in all three seasons with the organization, and he’s an efficient basestealer. His defense in the infield is among the best in the organization, and for the first time in his pro career, he played some second base and third base. At the plate, he hit for slightly more power than usual, but he generally struggled, particularly in a cup of coffee with Durham.
OF Moises Gomez (R/R, 5’11 200, 21 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class A-Advanced: 489 PA, .220/.297/.402, 16 HR, 44 XBH, 9.8 BB%, 33.5 K%
Baseball America views Gomez’s power as the best in the organization, and his 16 home runs set Charlotte’s single-season record. However, his aggressive approach got the best of him in 2019, and he wasn’t able to build on his breakout 2018 season. His athleticism and defense are just average, so he’ll need to improve his pitch recognition to make more consistent contact and get the most out of his raw power.
RHP JJ Goss (6’3 185, 19 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Gulf Coast League Rays: 17 IP, 5.82 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 2.8 BB%, 22.5 K%
Goss improved throughout the spring, and that led to the Rays selecting him with the No. 36 pick in June. His stuff got better. His velocity improved, and his breaking ball and changeup were sharper. In addition, he was considered one of the best strike throwers in his draft class (Baseball America $). With his athleticism, he should continue to throw strikes, and his fastball may improve further as he gets stronger.
RHP Seth Johnson (6’1 200, 21 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Gulf Coast League Rays and rookie-level Princeton: 17 IP, 2.12 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 4.3 BB%, 23.2 K%
Despite both being college pitchers, Johnson and John Doxakis are not very similar. Johnson was a huge riser this spring as a fairly new convert to pitching after having little success as a hitter. His promise is why the Rays made him the No. 40 pick in June. He throws in the low-to-mid 90s, but the rest of his game needs refinement. His slider is his best secondary pitch, but his changeup has shown potential.
RHP Riley O’Brien (6’4 170, 25 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery: 102 2⁄3 IP, 3.16 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 10.3 BB%, 24.9 K%
O’Brien — a high school teammate of Blake Snell (Baseball America $) — has pitched well since he was drafted in the eighth round in 2017, but he received little attention until this season when he continued to have success at higher levels. He’s posted consistently high strikeout rates thanks to his mid-90s fastball and hard slider. His velocity wasn’t always that high. Moving forward, he has to throw more strikes.
RHP Joel Peguero (5’11 160, 23 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 47 1⁄3 IP, 2.85 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 5.7 BB%, 22.7 K%
Peguero made his full-season debut in 2019, and for the first time, he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen. That was a key for him. For the first time in his U.S.-based career, he got good results. Despite his small size, he has touched 100 mph and sits in the mid-90s. However, it hasn’t yet resulted in high strikeout rates. He has to improve one of his secondary pitches.
OF Nick Schnell (L/R, 6’3 180, 20 in 2020)
2019 statistics with rookie-level Princeton and Class-A Bowling Green: 226 PA, .272/.338/.455, 5 HR, 23 XBH, 5/8 SB, 8.8 BB%, 33.2 K%
Injuries ended Schnell’s pro debut early and delayed his start to 2019, but when he’s been on the field, he’s played pretty well — despite a very high strikeout rate. Otherwise, he’s shown why the Rays selected him with the No. 32 pick in 2018. He’s hit well, showed power potential, and he has the chance to stick in center field with solid athleticism. Staying on the field will be key moving forward.