ESPN’s to prospects list dropped last week, and is behind a paywall, but has the consensus names you’ve come to expect by now.
McDaniel offers much of his value to the greater blogosphere in his extended writing and answers to follow-up questions, as you might remember from the FanGraphs days, but when it comes to the top-100 this is a rather quick write up for his standards.
Here’s his top Rays prospects from the ESPN Top-100, I’ll follow up with some responses to his press release later this week.
31. Curtis Mead, 3B, 55 FV
Type: Above average in all offensive facets, limited defensively
Mead has some similarities to Jung as a bigger-bodied third baseman with above average-to-plus hit and power potential and Triple-A success.
It’s worth noting that Jung is ranked lower at No. 38 on McDaniel’s list, falling from the top-20 due to shoulder surgery.
39. Carson Williams, SS, 55 FV
Type: Shortstop who is above average at everything, but still a teenager.
In his full-season debut, Williams flipped his offensive scouting report on its head, striking out 32% of the time and hitting 19 homers, leaning into the power from his newly added bulk. [...] all the elements are here.
60. Taj Bradley, RHP, 50 FV
Type: Power fastball/slider with above-average command
94-97 mph with plus ride up in the zone, and a plus, 87-89 mph slider that drew a 45% chase rate last season. His splitter and curveball are both at least average and Bradley’s command projects to be above average. It seems pretty obvious that Bradley is going to be pitching in the big leagues soon and the opposing broadcast team will incredulously ask where the Rays keep finding these arms.
83. Kyle Manzardo, 1B, 50 FV
Type: Advanced hit/approach with enough power to profile everyday
[...] the numbers have been eye-popping [...] Manzardo may be knocking on the door of the big leagues late in 2023, just two years after being a divisive draft prospect.
97. Junior Caminero, 3B, 50 FV
Type: Rare hit/power upside from a teenager
[...] “maybe they haven’t totally earned it on paper yet, but lots of smart people are buying in, so I am too” group [...] all the signs are here.
McDaniel also included a list of 50 FV prospects who didn’t make the top 100 and included SS Willy Vasquez. Additionally, in his rankings of all 30 MLB teams’ farm systems, the Rays placed 7th overall, up from 10th last season.