clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MLB Draft 2023: Tampa Bay Rays selections Round 1-10

Here are your Day 1 & Day 2 results

MLB Draft presented by Nike Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Here are the results from Day 2 at the 2023 MLB Draft for the Tampa Bay Rays, the first run by Director of Amateur Scouting Chuck Ricci, who stepped into the role following Rob Metzler’s departure to the Tigers front office.

Ricci is of course flanked by R.J. Harrison and Bobby Heck, who as longtime senior executives exhibit a heavy influence over the Rays draft selections.

1-19: TCU SS/3B Brayden Taylor (4YR JR) (link to full article)

Described as “a bag of 50 tools across the board” by Baseball America, Taylor’s best skill is his hitting ability, where he controls the zone and makes plus selections on when to swing. There’s not as much power as you’d expect if he doesn’t barrel up, giving his overall profile shades of Brandon Belt from the left side of the infield.

Taylor wasn’t expected to be available at No. 19 overall, so the Rays may consider themselves fortunate with the selection. MLB Pipeline notes Taylor is “younger and more projectable than most college hitters, so he could continue to get better.” A leader for the Horned Frogs, he’s expected to bring a positive clubhouse presence wherever he goes.

1A-31: HS SS Adrian Santana (link to full article)

One of the best runners in the 2023 draft class is a switch hitting short stop, and the Rays couldn’t resist. A pure short stop with a quick twitch and mature swing, this plus athlete is a fairly safe selection for a high school player.

2-55: MSU OF Colton Ledbetter (4YR JR) (link to full article)

If you took away the scouting grades and just rolled the tape of the Rays first three selections, you’d be forgiven for thinking Ledbetter was their first selection in the 2023 draft. An explosive swing puts an exclamation point on an impressive tool set. His hard contact is fairly consistent, even if he’s not yet breaking into the highest percentiles of power. Like Taylor, Ledbetter was not expected to fall to the Rays, as both players were two of seven live attendees at the draft.

3-88: LSU 1B Tre’ Morgan (4YR JR)

A great defender and athlete at first base, Morgan was a cog in an SEC powerhouse lineup but has a James Loney esque projection as a major leaguer. He was No. 76 on the Baseball America 500 but down the board at 137 for MLB Pipeline due to the lack of power.

4-120: Texas A&M SS Hunter Haas (4YR JR)

Yet another SEC player as Haas transferred into the Texas A&M program after losing the starting role at Arizona State in 2022. He was ranked No. 188 at MLB Pipeline as a short stop, but No. 340 at Baseball America as a third baseman. Like Morgan above, he’s lacking in power, and thus projects as a utility man at the major league level.

5-156: HS RHP Trevor Harrison

Already 6’4” and reaching 95 mph, Harrison is the first pitcher of the draft for the Rays out of JW Mitchell High School in nearby New Port Richey, FL. Heading into the draft he was ranked down the board at 245 for MLB Pipeline and 351 at Baseball America. Anything other than his fastball is just a projection at this point, and he’s thought to have a strong commitment to Florida State.

6-183: Arizona RHP T.J. Nichols (4YR JR)

Nichols was ranked 157 at Baseball America, although just 239 for MLB Pipeline. 6’5” but just 189 on the scale. He throws a flat, 98 mph fastball from a lower than average slot.

Tools: Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 45. Control: 40.

Nichols ranked as the No. 111 prospect in the 2020 class as a converted shortstop who showed a ton of natural arm strength [...] Nichols has exceptional pure stuff and arm talent but has never translated that into great success. He’s posted an ERA of 4.77 or higher in each season and in 2023 as a split starter and reliever he posted an 8.27 ERA over 57.2 innings, with an 18.7% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate.

[Baseball America]

7-213: Gonzaga RHP Owen Wild (4YR JR)

Wild has an 80-grade baseball name and four pitches with feel, making this the most traditional Rays pitcher drafted thus far. Ranked 231 at MLB Pipeline and 300 at Baseball America, he’s 6’2” and 230 lbs with some reports believing a major league workout program will add velocity, where he’s already touched 95.

8-243 Stanford LHP Drew Dowd (4YR JR)

Ranked 498 of 500 on the Baseball America board, Dowd has spent time starting and relieving and has an unclear future in terms of role. Naturally, his velocity plays up in the ‘pen, where he’s currently up to 95 in a classic three pitch mix.

9-273: Memphis LHP Dalton Fowler (4YR SR)

Towering at 6’6”, this collegiate senior has seen his stock fall from 224 overall on Baseball America’s 2019 board (when he was selected by the Mets in the 27th round) to 431 on the 2023 board. In between, he spent two years in junior college before transferring to Oklahoma and then Memphis.

10-303: Duke RHP Adam Boucher (4YR JR)

A reliever up until this season, Boucher is listed 6’5” and 235 lbs, and has been up to 98 with his fastball, per Baseball America (which ranked him 352 overall in the class):

His best offering is a plus fastball that averaged 94 mph this spring and has been up to 98, with excellent carry and around 19 inches of induced vertical break. He generated a 33% miss rate on the fastball this spring, which is a well above-average number

His quick action and low miles make this an intriguing pitcher for the Rays pitching lab.