Hello friends, and welcome back to the annual DRaysBay Community Prospect List vote!
As a reminder of how this works, twice per week throughout the off-season Scott and I will post votes for each round. If there is a trade that changes the landscape, special elections will be held to place income players.
We vote in the comment section of DRaysBay, as explained by Scott here:
To begin, we will offer up three candidates to lead the prospect vote. Please note, Wander Franco is no longer considered a prospect (and is in fact a candidate for 2021 ROY!). If you have someone else you’d like to vote for, please offer up a name in the Others section.
On to the candidates!
RHP Shane Baz (6’2 190, 23 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 78 2⁄3 IP, 2.06 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 4.4 BB%, 37.9 K%
2021 statistics with Tampa Bay: 13 1⁄3 IP, 2.03 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 6.1 BB%, 36.7 K%
Baz was one of the best — and certainly one of the most accomplished — prospects in baseball in 2021. He pitched at two minor league levels, earned an Olympic medal pitching for Team USA, made his major league debut, and started a game in the postseason. Thanks to massive improvements in his control, his high-90s fastball and plus slider play a lot better.
OF/IF Vidal Brujan (S/R, 5’10 180, 24 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 441 PA, .262/.345/.440, 44/52 SB, 12 HR, 44 XBH, 11.1 BB%, 15.4 K%
2021 statistics with Tampa Bay: 26 PA, .077/.077/.077, 1/1 SB, 0.0 BB%, 30.8 K%
Brujan has always had the athleticism to play multiple positions, but it took until 2021 for the Rays to deploy him in that manner, giving him a significant amount of time at all three outfield positions and three positions in the infield. He showed improved power in 2021, and he was as effective on the basepaths as ever. His average dropped quite a bit, but he was still very hard to strike out.
OF Josh Lowe (L/R, 6’4 205, 24 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Triple-A Durham: 470 PA, .291/.381/.535, 22 HR, 52 XBH, 26-for-26 SB, 13.0 BB%, 26.2 K%
2021 statistics with Tampa Bay: 2 PA, 1.000/1.000/1.000, 50.0 BB%, 0.0 K%
Lowe’s steady improvement throughout his career culminated in a breakout 2021 season that included his major league debut. He did it all, hitting for a career high in average, extra-base hits, home runs, and stealing 26 bases without being caught, all while playing strong defense in the outfield with a great arm. He’s ready for the majors, but he’ll need a place to play every day.