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Countdown to Opening Day: THREE Rays minor leaguers likely to impact the major league team

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images

The Rays 26 man roster will always be in flux, but a number of players have already been assigned to minor league camp, among them some players who already have big league experience and others who are awaiting a call up.

Over the years, the key players for the Rays have often been those who did not break camp with the big league team. Sometimes top prospects are maybe left in the minors with an eye to avoiding Super Two contract status (Evan Longoria in 2008, Wil Myers in 2013, Wander Franco in 2021).

In other situations an unexpected player may be called up out of necessity and he ends up playing a key role. Carlos Peña was supposed to start 2007 in the minors but Greg Norton got injured — not quite a Wally Pipp situation but as it turned out a lucky break for the Rays. Emilio Pagan, the hero of 2019, started the season in the minors.

Which three players currently in minor league camp do you think will have the biggest impact on the major league squad this year?

My picks:

  • Curtis Mead
  • Taj Bradley
  • Luis Patiño

Which player do you think will be getting the “I can’t believe he started out in the minors” treatment by the end of the season?