LHP Josh Fleming (6’2 210, 24 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 148 2⁄3 IP, 3.57 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 4.4 BB%, 17.7 K%
Fleming has been very effective in his two full seasons in the organization. The Rays named him Montgomery’s MVP this season, and he set career highs in strikeouts and innings. His stuff is just average, but he throws a ton of strikes and generates a ton of groundballs. He’s particularly effective against lefties, limiting them to a .433 OPS in 2019 and .511 OPS in 2018.
Let’s try and keep the discussion respectful and focused on baseball.
I’ll take up to one tester this poll. I’ll probably only add two more players at this point.
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|
C Chris Betts (L/R, 6’2 215, 23 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green: 472 PA, .210/.333/.400, 19 HR, 35 XBH, 14.2 BB%, 28.8 K%
A pair of elbow surgeries significantly limited Betts in his first few professional seasons, and the 2015 second-round pick didn’t establish himself as a full-season player until 2019. He continued showing his impressive power, finishing second in the league in home runs, winning the home run derby, and winning the home run derby that broke an All-Star Game tie. He has to make more contact and continue refining his defense.
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.
RHP Sandy Gaston (6’3 200, 18 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Gulf Coast League Rays: 27 IP, 6.00 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 20.9 BB%, 24.0 K%
Thanks to his great velocity, Gaston was able to earn a $2.61 million bonus from the Rays. He’s been able to touch triple digits for a couple years now, but the rest of his game needs significant refinement. He could cut his walk rate in half, and it may still be too high. He also throws a curveball and changeup.
OF Niko Hulsizer (R/R, 6’2 225, 23 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Great Lakes, Class A-Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, and Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 393 PA, .262/.369/.537, 21 HR, 47 XBH, 12.7 BB%, 30.3 K%
The Rays were active leading up to and at the deadline, and Hulsizer was added when they traded Adam Kolarek to the Dodgers. He missed some time due to injury, but he went to Australia this winter to get some more at-bats. His plus to plus-plus power made him one of Los Angeles’ top breakout prospects prior to the trade. None of his other tools stand out, and he’ll have to cut down on his strikeouts.
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.
SS Alejandro Pie (R/R, 6’4 175, 18 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Dominican Summer League Rays 1: 253 PA, .289/.361/.342, 24/32 SB, 11 XBH, 4.3 BB%, 18.2 K%
Pie was one of the Rays’ top two signings in the 2018-19 international period, and he was decent in his pro debut — although his 5.9 HBP% is likely unsustainable. Despite his size and potential for growth, he could stick at shortstop thanks to his athleticism. If not, he has the arm to play anywhere on the field. With that size comes power potential, but he hasn’t shown much of it yet.
LHP Michael Plassmeyer (6’2 197, 23 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class-A Bowling Green, Class A-Advanced Charlotte, and Triple-A Durham: 132 IP, 1.91 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 4.5 BB%, 21.2 K%
Plassmeyer — acquired from Seattle in the Mike Zunino trade — was one of the most effective pitchers in the minors this season. He was one of five pitchers with more than 100 innings and an ERA under 2.00. He turned his career around as an amateur with an analytical approach and the use of technology. His stuff is average, but he knows how to use his pitches and throws a lot of strikes.
RHP Drew Strotman (6’3 195, 23 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 16 IP, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 12.3 BB%, 17.8 K%
A fourth-round pick in 2017, Strotman was quickly rising prospect ranks until he needed Tommy John surgery in his first full season. He wasn’t able to pitch many innings but did get a chance to finish the season in the Arizona Fall League. When he was healthy, he worked with a low-to-mid-90s fastball, and his slider was his best secondary pitch. He’ll have to throw more strikes, but control doesn’t always come back immediately after surgery.
C Brett Sullivan (L/R, 6’1 195, 26 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: 403 PA, .280/.333/.459, 10 HR, 40 XBH, 21/26 SB, 7.9 BB%, 11.9 K%
After a subpar 2018, Sullivan returned to the Biscuits and 2019 and looked like his old self. In addition to rarely striking out and making consistent contact, he’s started walking more the last couple seasons. He also hit for more power than he had in any full season in his career. Although his defense behind the plate has reportedly improved, he spent most of the season in left field.
OF Garrett Whitley (R/R, 6’1 195, 23 in 2020)
2019 statistics with Class A-Advanced Charlotte: 439 PA, .226/.339/.412, 10 HR, 42 XBH, 16/28 SB, 14.1 BB%, 37.1 K%
Over the final two months of the 2017 season with Bowling Green, Whitley hit .246 with a .381 on-base percentage and .462 slugging percentage. However, he was unable to carry that momentum over to the 2018 season due to shoulder surgery that kept him out until 2019. When he returned, he showed glimpses of the tools that made him a first-round pick in 2015, but as the strikeout rate indicates, he was very inconsistent.