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2023 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 5

Kyle Manzardo runs away with the voting for number 4.

Previous Winner

1B Kyle Manzardo (6’1” 205, 23 in 2023)

Kyle Manzardo was the Rays second round selection in the 2021 draft. After a short cameo in the Florida Complex League to end his draft Manzardo exploded on the scene after being assigned to high A to start the season before being promoted to AA for the final month of the season. Manzardo combined to hit .327/.426/.617 and put up a 172 wRC+ over 397 plate appearances. He hit for power (22 homers) while drawing more than his fair share of walks (14.9% BB) and limiting his swing and miss (16.4% K). Manzardo is likely to start the season in AA but could see an early season promotion to AAA.

2023 DRaysBay Community Prospect List

Kyle Manzardo (19 votes) ran away with voting as the number four prospect ahead of Carson Williams (10 votes).

2023 DRaysBay Community Prospect List

Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last Season
Rank Player Votes Total Percentage Last Season
1 Curtis Mead 9 27 33.3% 5
2 Shane Baz 12 25 48.0% 1
3 Taj Bradley 18 29 62.1% 4
4 Kyle Manzardo 19 29 65.5% 30
5 Carson Williams 18 24 75% 11
6 Mason Auer 8 28 28.6% NR
7 Junior Caminero 11 24 45.8% 26
8 Cole Wilcox 14 28 50% 14
9 Jonathan Aranda 12 26 46.2% 13
10 Mason Montgomery 20 27 74.1% NR
11 Osleivis Basabe 18 27 66.7% 27

Rules

There will be a selection of players listed in the comments. To vote, reply to the player’s name with a +1 in the comment. For the best voting experience, filter the comment section by Oldest.

Please vote using whichever criteria you prefer! If you like stats, use stats. If you like scouting reports, reference those reports. There’s no one right way to do this — that’s what makes this exercise fun.

If you want to vote for a player who is not listed, there will be an “Others” comment. Reply to that comment with the name of your selection. This is incredibly rare because there will eventually be up to 10 players to choose from, but it’s possible a player you feel strongly about slipped through the cracks.

If you want to nominate a player to be included in the next poll, reply to the “Testers” comment with that player’s name. We will often limit the number of players accepted for the next poll to prevent the list from becoming cumbersome. All players in one poll who do not win the vote are automatically included in the next poll — there is no need to renominate.

Full rules and how tie breaks will be determined can be found in this post by Daniel Russell.

Voting will take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.

Candidates

1B Jonathan Aranda (6’0” 210, 25 in 2023)

Jonathan Aranda made his major league debut in 2022. He hit .192/.276/.321 and put up a 74 wRC+ in 87 plate appearances in sporadic playing time. At AAA he hit very well putting up a .318/.394/.521 line and put up a 142 wRC+. The bat is MLB quality but the trouble will come in finding a defensive home. He split time between first base, second base, and third base during his time in the majors and minors but it seems like first base might be the only one he can play passable defense.

OF Mason Auer (6’1” 210, 22 in 2023)

Mason Auer was the Rays fifth round pick in the 2021 draft out of San Jacinto Junior College. Auer hit the ground running in his first full professional season. Split between A and A+ he hit .290/.372/.487 and put up a 134 wRC+ over 529 plate appearances. He posted a 10.4% walk rate and 20.8% strikeout rate. He hit 15 homers while stealing 48 bases. His speed would allow him to stay in center, but could be a plus-plus defender if he moves to a corner.

MI Osleivis Basabe (6’1” 188, 22 in 2023)

Osleivis Basabe was acquired by the Rays in the Nate Lowe trade with the Texas Rangers. Basabe spent the 2022 season split between A+ and AA. He combined to hit .324/.385/.462 and put up a 129 wRC+ over 495 plate appearances. He posted a 8.1% walk rate and 11.9% strikeout rate. He split time at second base, shortstop, and third base. He was added to the 40 man to protect from the Rule 5 draft this winter.

3B Junior Caminero (5’11” 157, 20 in 2023)

Junior Caminero enjoyed a successful first year stateside that saw him split time between the Florida Complex League before being promoted to A ball. He hit .314/.384/.498 and put up a 142 wRC+ over 271 plate appearances. He posted a 8.5% walk rate and 15.9% strikeout rate. He’s continued his success in the Australian Winter League where he’s hit .252/.320/.495 and hit eight homers (second in the league) in 111 at bats.

LHP Mason Montgomery (6’2” 195, 23 in 2023)

Mason Montgomery was the Rays sixth round pick in the 2021 draft out of Texas Tech. In his first full professional season he spent time split between A+ and AA. He posted a 2.10 ERA/3.11 FIP over 124.0 innings. He posted a 34.2% strikeout rate and 8.6% walk rate. His best pitch is a plus-plus changeup that he uses of a low 90s (90-94 mph) fastball.

RHP Cole Wilcox (6’5” 232, 24 in 2023)

Cole Wilcox was acquired by the Rays in the Blake Snell trade with the San Diego Padres. Wilcox missed a majority of the 2021 and 2022 seasons due to Tommy John surgery. He came back for 16.0 innings split between the Florida Complex League and A ball. The stuff appeared to be back as he struck out 24 and walked 4 in those 16.0 innings.

SS Carson Williams (6’2” 180, 20 in 2023)

Carson Williams was the Rays first round pick in the 2021 draft. Williams was aggressively placed in full season ball as a high school draftee. He posted a .252/.347/.471 line and put up a 124 wRC+. He does strikeout (32.1% strikeout rate) but has power (19 homers) and can draw walks (10.9% walk rate). He is expected to be a plus defender at shortstop.