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. In the roster shuffling leading up to the rule 5 draft deadline, the Rays opted to add him to the 40-man roster.
Despite three quick risers placing in the new Top-10 for the Community list, following a strong showing with the 20-21 Winter League champion Criollos de Caguas, 2020-21 Caribbean Series runner up Puerto Rico, and Triple-A champion Durham Bulls, Romero makes the biggest leap of all, into the Top-10 after he was not ranked last season.
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|
Here are your next 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.
SS Carlos Colmenarez (L/R, 5’10 170, 18 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Dominican Summer League Rays 1: 113 PA, .247/.319/.289, 3 XBH, 7/13 SB, 7.1 BB%, 36.5 K%
Although the numbers in his pro debut are unimpressive, Colmenarez dealt with a hamate injury that delayed his start to the season. That has historically affected a player’s power in particular. He was perhaps the top player in the 2020 international class with all five tools average or better. He has a great chance to stick at shortstop, and his bat gives him a high ceiling.
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.
RHP Seth Johnson (6’1 200, 23 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Low-A Charleston: 93 2⁄3 IP, 2.88 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 8.3 BB%, 29.0 K%
After a couple rough starts to begin the season, Johnson had a stint in the bullpen. That turned his season around, and he returned to the rotation after a month. That growth is important because he’s still an inexperienced pitcher. The stuff — a mid-90s fastball and impressive slider — isn’t a question. He just has to continue improving his control and accumulating innings.
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.
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.
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.