OF Ruben Cardenas (R/R, 6’2 185, 24 in 2022)
2021 statistics with High-A Bowling Green and Double-A Montgomery: 441 PA, .292/.333/.523, 25 HR, 41 XBH, 6/10 SB, 5.4 BB%, 26.1 K%
Cardenas had a breakout season in 2021. Acquired from Cleveland for Christian Arroyo, he nearly doubled his career home run total as he began to tap into his above-average raw power. He can make pretty good contact too, but his approach is too aggressive. He’s a decent athlete who played all three outfield spots but is better in a corner.
Ruben Cardenas held a commanding win in the penultimate vote by comment section, surging past McKay, Bitsko, and Manzardo. One element not mentioned in his profile worth adding: he’s got an arm.
Do NOT run on Ruben Cardenas. pic.twitter.com/eEYSHTTqWW— Montgomery Biscuits (@BiscuitBaseball) September 3, 2021
As a matter of housekeeping, this is the final vote by comment section, which will be followed by a “next ten” voting opportunity in line with last year. The Community List will be then finalized next Wednesday as part of Prospect Week at DRaysBay.
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|
|19||RHP Colby White||11||25||44.0%||NR|
|20||C Ford Proctor||8||25||32.0%||27|
|21||3B Austin Shenton||9||20||45.0%||NA|
|22||RHP Sandy Gaston||4||18||22.2%||38|
|23||C Blake Hunt||5||18||27.8%||16|
|24||C Rene Pinto||5||19||26.3%||NR|
|25||LHP John Doxakis||5||18||27.8%||30|
|26||IF Junior Caminero||5||16||31.3%||NA|
|27||IF Osleivis Basabe||5||18||27.8%||25|
|28||2B Cooper Kinney||6||17||35.3%||NA|
|29||OF Ruben Cardenas||6||19||31.6%||NA|
|30||1B Kyle Manzardo||7||19||36.8%||NA|
|31||RHP Nick Bitsko|
|32||RHP Jayden Murray|
|33||LHP Brendan McKay|
|34||RHP Calvin Faucher|
|35||IF Ryan Spikes|
|36||LHP Jacob Lopez|
|37||LHP Antonio Jimenez|
On to the candidates for No. 30!
RHP Nick Bitsko (6’4 225, 20 in 2022)
Did not pitch in 2021
Bitsko was the No. 24 pick in the 2020 draft after reclassifying to be drafted a year sooner. However, he has not yet made his pro debut. Shoulder surgery sidelined him in 2021, but he is expected to debut in 2022. Prior to the surgery, he had two potential plus pitches in his mid-90s fastball and curveball. His changeup has shown promise.
LHP Antonio Jimenez (5’11 145, 21 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Florida Coast League Rays and Low-A Charleston: 48 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 7.2 BB%, 33.0 K%
Jimenez impressed enough in his U.S. debut that he was able to make a handful of appearances in a full-season league at just 20 years old. He showed improved control compared to his two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. According to FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, he throws in the low 90s with a plus slider and potentially average changeup.
1B Kyle Manzardo (L/R, 6’1 205, 21 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Florida Coast League Rays: 50 PA, .349/.440/.605, 2 HR, 7 XBH, 8.0 BB%, 12.0 K%
In his debut, Manzardo looked very much like a polished college hitter crushing young pitchers. He showed a strong plate approach at Washington State before the Rays drafted him in the second round, and that carried over to the start of his pro career. His hit tool is his best, but his power improved throughout his college career and could be above average. He’s not much of an athlete and is limited to first base.
LHP Brendan McKay (6’2 220, 26 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: 7 IP, 12.86 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 11.1 BB%, 22.2 K%
It was another lost season for the No. 4 pick in the 2017 draft. McKay got off to a late start in 2020 due to COVID and then had shoulder surgery. In 2021, he had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, which is difficult for pitchers to come back from. At his best, he threw a lot of strikes with decent stuff, including an above-average fastball. His cutter, changeup, and breaking ball can all be above average too.
RHP Jayden Murray (6’1 190, 25 in 2022)
2021 statistics with High-A Bowling Green and Double-A Montgomery: 96 IP, 2.16 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 4.7 BB%, 26.4 K%
Murray was one of the most effective pitchers in the minors at keeping runners off the bases. Only one pitcher with 50-plus innings in a full-season league had a WHIP lower than him — teammate Colby White. He has great control of his above-average stuff. According to FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, his slider could be a plus pitch.
IF Ryan Spikes (R/R, 5’9 185, 19 in 2022)
2021 statistics with Florida Coast League Rays: 47 PA, .250/.362/.400, 1 HR, 4 XBH, 4/5 SB, 12.8 BB%, 27.7 K%
The Rays liked Spikes enough to draft him in the third round and gave him almost twice as much as the recommended signing bonus for his No. 100 overall selection. He makes good contact and is a decent athlete. Despite not being very big, he posts good exit velocities and could have decent power. With a good arm, he shows versatility in the infield, splitting time between second and third base in his brief pro experience.