1B Xavier Isaac (6’4” 240, 19 in 2023)
Xavier Isaac was the Rays first round pick (29th overall) in last year’s draft. He only played in five games in the Florida Complex League after being signed. He struck out three times (14.3%) and walked twice (9.5%) on the way to hitt ing .211/.286/.368 in 21 plate appearances. He’s limited to first base but will be interesting to see how the power translates in his first full professional season.
2023 DRaysBay Community Prospect List
Xavier Isaac (8 votes) takes down the 17th spot on the list ahead of Rene Pinto (7 votes), Shane Sasaki (6 votes), JJ Goss (2 votes), and Colby White (2 votes).
2023 DRaysBay Community Prospect List
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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.
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.
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 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%.