This chat will be to discuss the Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Prospects List, released today.
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: Four of these in and I'm already tapped out of witty intros
Rob (next door): Post-hype TJ time. Can guys like Anthony Banda and Jose De Leon find bullpen roles this year, or am I looking at some of the next roster crunch's casualties?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: Banda is far more likely than de Leon, as he's a lefty with more stuff, while de Leon is a FB/CH righty whose had a litany of arm injuries. It'd be a tougher fit.
MelonvilleSports (AB Canada): Tommy Romero put up sparkling numbers at Charlotte, 13-4 with 1.78 era, in 19 starts. I know nothing about him other than stats line. Any light that you may shed would be greatly appreciated.
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: He's a guy whose always had better stats than stuff. Fastball can be a bit fringy, good change, curve needs to keep developing. We'll have more info on him against Southern League bats next year. He was in consideration for the list, but was too far away to sneak on given the limited upside.
duhbear (VT): Brett Sullivan and Kevin Padlo both had pretty big bounce back years. Do you think either of them are for-real and have a spot on the Rays 40-man next year?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: Padlo might have something with the swing change, and it's the kind of profile the Rays find a spot for, although they don't (never) lack for corner types with platoon leverage on the depth chart. Sullivan was a 25 year old repeating Double-A but you always need catchers. I'd be far more inclined to protect Padlo for Rule 5 purposes.
MelonvilleSports (AB Canada): 19 year old Rodolfo Sanchez had a very solid season at Hudson Valley. Strong in GCL in '18 and followed up with even better numbers in the NYP. Looks quite promising. Any thoughts?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: He's interesting, but he's a short righty that feels like a future 95 and a breaker guy if things go well.
gatorgolf24 (Chattanooga, TN): I really am excited more about Josh Lowe than any other non-Wander Franco Rays' prospects - he had a strong 2nd half for sure.
In a weaker system - is he a top 3-5 prospect? What is upside from a player comp?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: Our staff reports on Lowe are I'm guessing a bit more muted than other places, due to concerns about the swing. It's good that he has started to translate some of the tools into on-field production, but I think he's more 6-10 in an averagish system.
Chad (Charleston): Haven't heard much this year about Tyler Frank, the Rays' 2nd-round pick in 2018. He got a handful of at-bats in Charlotte, but they didn't go so hot. Injury update, perhaps?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: Yeah, he's an injury mulligan. I liked him all right in Hudson Valley after the draft, but even then it was more a utility profile with some sneaky pop than an infield regular.
Ben (CA): Thanks for chatting. Greatly appreciated. Does Garrett Whitley still have a major league future or is he becoming an org depth guy at this point?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: At this point I need to seem some progress with the hit tool before I buy in again, and honestly he wasn't my favorite even coming out of the draft, although I've had staff members try to talk me into him intermittently since. Labrum tears are obviously scarier for pitchers than hitters, but they also aren't nothing for hitters.
blaim choom (Boston, MA): Why have the Rays kept Brujan at second base when a move to center field feels painfully obvious?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: They don't have to move him to center. I imagine they will get him some outfield reps at some point because it's the Rays, but he isn't Roman Quinn or Billy Hamilton in the middle infield. Generally the premium footspeed gas make the transition well, but it also isn't a lock he's better there.
Maurice (Muncie): How unlikely is it for a prospect with Nick Schnell's K-rate in the low minors to eventually become an impact player? What's the path here to success?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: He was 19. He can probably get better? I get the overall point here, but if someone like Bobby Dalbec can refine stuff enough to a manageable 25% in the upper minors, I wouldn't sound the death knell for Schnell yet. And there's nothing in the swing that suggests this has to be a long term problem. He needs more reps against better stuff to make adjustments, and then we will see where he is.
Finn (Florida): Tristan Gray keeps making steady progress up the ladder, even if the results aren't staggering. I root for him mainly because his name is so similar to the love interest in Fifty Shades of Grey: Christian Grey. Should I have hope to see him in the majors in 2020 as a bench outfielder type, whether on the Rays or elsewhere?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: Yeah, everything is a bit fringy, but he can theoretically stand at all four infield positions, so he's got that going for him
Danny (MA): Was any consideration given to Taylor Walls? Switch hitting, versatile infielder, bat played even better once promoted to the Southern League.
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: The consideration list ended up 40+ and yeah Walls was on it. Feels almost unfair to squeeze him off again, as he was on the bubble for the 2018 list too, but it's a very deep system. Guessing he would have been in the next five with Ford Proctor who was another tough cut.
Bill (Capitol Hill): What role is Shane McClanahan most likely to play in his first few years in MLB: (1) starter, (2) late inning reliever, or (3) "bulk" guy? How much of a factor in your answer is that he is in the Rays' organization?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: Given the durability concerns, there might be value in trying to leverage him more of a 30/150 bulk innings role. On the other hand he threw 120 this year without issue, which is a decent platform year for a first full pro season. Ultimately it's going to come down to the refinement of the secondaries for anything other than a late inning role. That would be true in every organization, Rays or otherwise.
Bill (Capitol Hill): If forced to rank players in terms of future value over the next 10 years of their MLB career, would Wander Franco occupy the same tier as Yelich, Acuna, Soto, Lindor, etc.? If not, who would be some fellows in his tier?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: Man I love Wander Franco, but you can't rank him in the top tier of major league producers until there's some major league production. I made this point last year that by June or so, I would have take Juan Soto comfortably over Vlad jr and any other prospect. Look, it's perfectly plausible that he ends up as one of the 10-15 best players in baseball for a good stretch of his career, but you can't rank him with those guys yet. (The fellows in his tier are Jo Adell, Luis Robert, Adley Rutschman, those kind of names)
clayw23 (Pensacola): Other than Franco, do the Rays possess have any hitting prospects with the ability to produce above league average production? Any difference makers?
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: It's a very arm-heavy system, and I'm probably the low guy on staff on Brujan/Jones. Brujan might get there as a pure hit tool guy, but I also don't know if he's as much of a difference maker for the Rays as he is for your 5x5 fantasy team.
Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 Chat: We'll wrap up the AL East with the Jays on Friday.