C Rene Pinto (5’10” 195, 26 in 2023)
Rene Pinto made his MLB debut in 2022 for the Rays. Pinto hit .213/.241/.325 and put up a 64 wRC+ in 83 plate appearances. He rarely walked (2.4%) and struck out a lot (42.2%) which led to his low OBP. The strikeout rate will have to be lower, but he does hit for power. Most importantly he showed well defensively behind the plate, so he will find a MLB role even if it maxes out in a back up role.
2023 DRaysBay Community Prospect List
Rene Pinto (9 votes) takes home the 18th spot ahead of Colby White (5 votes), Shane Sasaki (4 votes), JJ Goss (3 votes), and Greg Jones (1 vote).
2023 DRaysBay Community Prospect List
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OF Ryan Cermak (6’1” 205, 22 in 2023)
Ryan Cermak was the Rays second round selection in the 2022 draft out of Illinois State. He posted a .301/.386/.600 line during his college career. He has significant swing and miss, but does hit for power. Has the required speed and arm strength to be a plus defender in a corner or potentially fake it in center if needed.
RHP JJ Goss (6’3” 185, 22 in 2023)
JJ Goss was the Rays competitive balance round A pick (36th overall) in the 2019 draft. Goss returned from a shoulder injury that cost him the majority of the 2021 season to put up a 4.00 ERA/3.52 FIP/3.52 xFIP over 101.1 innings in his first full season as a professional. He posted a 24.9% strikeout rate and 5.2% walk rate.
SS/OF Greg Jones (5’11” 175, 25 in 2023)
Greg Jones was the Rays first round selection out of the University of North Carolina - Wilmington in 2019. Jones struggled with his promotion to AA last year putting up a .238/.318/.392 line and 88 wRC+. His strikeout rate surged to 35.8% while his walk rate fell to 7.5%. He did steal 37 bags while being caught five times. Many expect his ultimate defensive home is likely in centerfield where his elite speed will play better.
2B/3B Cooper Kinney (6’3” 200, 20 in 2023)
Cooper Kinney was the Rays competitive round A draft pick (34th overall) in the 2021 draft out of high school. Unfortunately Kinney missed the entire 2022 season after tearing his labrum during spring workouts. He’s a hit over game power hitter for the time being but has shown raw power in batting practice.
OF Tristan Peters (6’0” 180, 23 in 2023)
Tristan Peters was acquired for the Rays in a trade with the San Fransisco Giants on rule 5 draft deadline day for Brett Wisely. Peters had a solid start to the season in the Milwaukee Brewers system hitting .306/.386/.485 and putting up a 141 wRC+ in A+. After the trade to the Giants he struggled when promoted to AA hitting .212/.302/.303 and putting up a 71 wRC+. He draws more than his fair share of walks (10%+) while limiting his strikeouts (below 20%). There isn’t expected to be much power in his profile but he does show a strong hit tool.
OF Shane Sasaki (6’0” 165, 23 in 2023)
Shane Sasaki was the Rays third round pick (99th overall) in the 2019 draft. He put up a .324/.410/.497 line and 151 wRC+ in his first full season assignment. He posted a 12.2% walk rate and 22.9% strikeout rate. He doesn’t hit for much over the fence power (9 homers) but uses his speed to take more than his fair share of doubles and triples. He stole 47 bases while being caught only four times.
RHP Santiago Suarez (6’2” 175, 18 in 2023)
The Rays acquired Santiago Suarez in the trade that sent Xavier Edwards to the Miami Marlins earlier this winter. Suarez showed command in the Dominican Summer League posting a 2.31 ERA/2.89 FIP while posting a 24.8% strikeout rate and 3.9% walk rate. Should see his first action stateside this year likely in the Gulf Coast League.
RHP Austin Vernon (6’8” 256, 24 in 2023)
Austin Vernon was the Rays tenth round pick out of North Carolina Central University in 2021. He sits in the mid 90s and has a four pitch mix including a slider, curveball, and changeup as a reliever. He threw 78.2 innings split between A and A+ ball in 2022. He struck out 35.6% of batters faced while walking 12.8%.
RHP Colby White (6’0” 190, 24 in 2023)
Colby White shot through the system playing at all four full season levels in 2021. He threw 62.1 innings of relief with a 1.44 ERA/2.09 FIP while posting an absurd 45.0% strikeout rate and 6.5% walk rate. Unfortunately he underwent Tommy John surgery early last spring. He has yet to return to game action but worked off a mid 90s fastball that played above it’s velocity in the top of the zone and a high 80s slider as his two pitch mix. If his stuff returns he should see MLB action some time this season as he’s already on the 40 man.