SS Carson Williams (R/R, 6’2 180, 19 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Florida Coast League Rays: 47 PA, .282/.404/.436, 5 XBH, 2/4 SB, 12.8 BB%, 27.7 K%
Williams was the Rays’ top pick in the 2021 draft, and he had a nice debut in a limited number of plate appearances. He has a nice all-around toolset, and all five tools could be average or better, led by his arm for the left side of the infield. He could stay at shortstop. If he doesn’t, his power potential would allow him to profile at other positions. He also has decent speed.
We had our first runoff of 2022 and it was well fought, which a mild surprise given that Williams was the team’s top draft pick from 2021.
Officially official ✍️— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 20, 2021
Welcome to the family, Carson Williams! pic.twitter.com/pAl1p1QUbL
There was some consideration between Scott and I to allow the runner-up to place as No. 12 automatically. If this is something you have an opinion on for future runoffs, let us know in the Discussion section.
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|
|5||IF Curtis Mead||20||28||71.4%||40|
|6||SS Greg Jones||17||36||47.2%||14|
|7||2B Xavier Edwards||9||26||34.6%||9|
|8||RHP Tommy Romero||11||25||44.0%||NR|
|9||SS Carlos Colmenarez||6||23||26.1%||15|
|10||RHP Seth Johnson||7||23||30.4%||20|
|11||SS Carson Williams||16||29||55.2%||NA|
|12||LHP Ian Seymour||12||20||60.0%||29|
|13||IF Jonathan Aranda||16||26||61.5%||NR|
|14||RHP Cole Wilcox||10||23||43.5%||13|
|15||OF Kameron Misner||10||22||45.5%||NA|
|16||OF Heriberto Hernandez||8||21||38.1%||12|
|17||SS Willy Vasquez||9||25||36.0%||NR|
|18||RHP JJ Goss||8||23||34.8%||19|
On to the candidates!
IF Jonathan Aranda (L/R, 5’10 173, 24 in 2022)
2021 statistics with High-A Bowling Green and Double-A Montgomery: 411 PA, .330/.418/.543, 14 HR, 41 XBH, 10.2 BB%, 18.5 K%
Prior to 2021, Aranda was a decent but unremarkable performer. In 2021, he became a 40-man-roster lock with a tremendous season. He was one of the top hitters in the organization, making consistent contact with a good plate approach and showing improved power. Which position he should play remains a question, but his bat demands that he be in the lineup somewhere.
RHP JJ Goss (6’3 185, 21 in 2022)
Rehabbed with Florida Coast League Rays in 2021
Like Taj Bradley, there were reports of big strides made by Goss during the pandemic. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury kept the righty out for most of the season. Fortunately, he’s still very young. Since he was drafted with the No. 36 pick in 2019, his stuff — from his fastball velocity to secondary pitches — has improved. In a small number of innings, he’s continued to demonstrate good control.
OF Heriberto Hernandez (R/R, 6’1 195, 22 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Low-A Charleston: 320 PA, .252/.381/453, 12 HR, 27 XBH, 7/11 SB, 15.3 BB%, 28.1 K%
In his full-season debut, Hernandez continued to hit for a lot of power. He’s not huge, but his power is his best attribute. Just eyeballing the numbers, he was probably one of the organization’s top three-true-outcome players. His aggressive approach might hold him back at higher levels, but he does walk a lot. The Rays moved him out from behind the plate, and he only played outfield in 2021.
OF Kameron Misner (L/L, 6’4 218, 24 in 2022)
2021 statistics with High-A Beloit and Double-A Pensacola: 462 PA, .253/.355/.433, 12 HR, 44 XBH, 26/30 SB, 12.4 BB%, 29.4 K%
The Rays acquired Misner — a 2019 first-round pick — in the Joey Wendle trade. Despite strikeout problems, his impressive tools stand out. He has a lot of power potential, and he’s athletic too, enough that he could stick in center field despite his size. He hits the ball hard, and the Rays hope they can make some adjustments to get more consistent contact.
LHP Ian Seymour (6’0 210, 23 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Low-A Charleston, High-A Bowling Green and Triple-A Durham: 55 1⁄3 IP, 1.95 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 8.9 BB%, 40.7 K%
Seymour posted ridiculous statistics in his abbreviated platform season at Virginia Tech, and that continued in his pro debut. His season started late, but he was impressive when he finally pitched. At the end of the season, he even made a couple spot starts in Triple A and wasn’t troubled by the competition. His changeup is his best pitch. He also throws a low-90s fastball but needs to improve his breaking ball.
3B Austin Shenton (L/R, 6’0 205, 24 in 2022)
2021 statistics with High-A Everett, Double-A Arkansas, and Double-A Montgomery: .295/.398/.549, 14 HR, 49 XBH, 12.6 BB%, 23.4 K%
Shenton was acquired in the Diego Castillo trade, but a thumb injury ended his season pretty quickly in his new organization. Thanks to a strong plate approach, ability to make contact, and emerging power, he was able to advance quickly in his first full pro season. Eventually, he’ll need to find a defensive home. It could be third base, but any corner position could be an option.
SS Willy Vasquez (R/R, 6’0 191, 20 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Florida Coast League Rays: 173 PA, .288/.382/.411, 11 XBH, 14/20 SB, 11.6 BB%, 15.6 K%
Vasquez wasn’t a notable signing when the Rays got him in 2019, but he’s quickly gaining attention. He has solid tools across the board, and his performance has been good. With decent athleticism and a good arm, he could stick at shortstop, but he’s shown versatility in the field. At the plate, he has a good approach, makes contact, and has some power potential.
RHP Colby White (6’0 190, 23 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Low-A Charleston, High-A Bowling Green, Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham: 62 1⁄3 IP, 1.44 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 6.5 BB%, 45.0 K%
In retrospect, the Rays probably didn’t need 16 1⁄3 innings to know White was too good for Low A, or 23 1⁄3 innings to know he was too good for High A, or 13 innings to know he was too good for Double A. It’s rare for a player to see meaningful action at four different affiliates in a season. With a mid-90s fastball and above-average breaking ball, he could be a big league reliever.
RHP Cole Wilcox (6’5 232, 22 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Low-A Charleston: 44 1⁄3 IP, 2.03 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 2.9 BB%, 29.9 K%
Wilcox impressed in his pro debut, but he had Tommy John surgery in September and is likely missing the entire 2022 season. When he pitched, he worked with a mid-90s fastball and plus slider. His changeup needs improvement. He showed drastically improved control from the start of his college career.