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2021 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 20 runoff

Nick Bitsko and Seth Johnson are going head to head.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After not having a runoff election for two offseasons, this is the second straight offseason with one. There are only two prospects to choose from.

I also want to note that when nominating a player for the next poll, please only include one player per comment. Make as many comments as you want, but multiple players in one comment makes it hard to determine what to do.

RHP Nick Bitsko (6’4 220, 19 in 2021)

Drafted in 2020

For the third straight season, the Rays took a high school pitcher in the first round, even when the rest of the industry is trending the other way. Bitsko was considered a top prospect for the 2021 draft, but he reclassified and got drafted a year earlier. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s, and his curveball is a potential plus pitch. His changeup has potential, and he should be a strike thrower. Bitsko recently required shoulder surgery “to repair a labrum issue,” but the extent of the injury is not known.

RHP Seth Johnson (6’1 200, 22 in 2021)

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%

Johnson was a huge riser last spring as a fairly new convert to pitching after having little success as a hitter. He reportedly stood out in the instructional league in 2020. According to Baseball America, he’s shown improved fastball velocity and a better slider ($). Because of his lack of experience, he was probably among the prospects most affected by the canceled season, but it sounds like he didn’t waste his summer.