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2020 DRaysBay Community Prospect No. 27

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Josh Fleming makes it four pitchers in the last five votes.

MLB: FEB 17 Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Previous winner

LHP Josh Fleming (6’2 210, 24 in 2020)

2019 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 148 23 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

Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last season
Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last season
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 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 13 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.