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.
In a close vote, Josh Lowe leap frogs teammate Vidal Brujan — who placed third on last year’s community list — to place second on this year’s.
2022 Community prospect list
|1||RHP Shane Baz||24||28||85.7%||6|
|2||OF Josh Lowe||16||34||47.1%||8|
|3||IF/OF Vidal Brujan||23||36||63.9%||3|
|4||RHP Taj Bradley||19||27||70.4%||26|
We have added two more candidates for this poll.
RHP Taj Bradley (6’2 190, 21 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Low-A Charleston and High-A Bowling Green: 103 1⁄3 IP, 1.83 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 7.8 BB%, 31.0 K%
During the lost season, there were stories about Bradley’s improving stuff and breakout potential. He proved to be one of the best pitchers in the minors, living up to the hype. He led the minors in ERA among pitchers with 100-plus innings. He did it with a plus fastball and slider, an improving changeup, and pretty good control. Not bad for a fifth-round pick.
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.
IF Curtis Mead (R/R, 6’2 171, 21 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Low-A Charleston, High-A Bowling Green, and Triple-A Durham: 458 PA, .321/.378/.533, 55 XBH, 15 HR, 11-for-15 SB, 7.4 BB%, 15.5 K%
Rather than risk losing him for nothing in the rule 5 draft, the Rays traded lefty Cristopher Sanchez to the Phillies for Mead in 2019. Among prospects with 400-plus plate appearances, he was 10th in average, and he led the minors in doubles. He has good power potential but doesn’t have to sell out for it — he makes consistent, hard contact and rarely strikes out. His future defensive home is a question, but his bat plays in a lot of places.
RHP Tommy Romero (6’2 225, 24 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham: 110 1⁄3 IP, 2.61 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 7.1 BB%, 33.3 K%
Romero remained one of the best statistical pitchers in the minors in 2021. He was tied for 19th in strikeouts, and he maintained his impressive control. With a low-90s fastball and average changeup and breaking ball, he should get his chance in the majors soon. He is eligible for the rule 5 draft.