With the 2012 MLB draft well under way, it might be good to look at top prospects in the Rays’ minor league system, and where they came from. And the numbers are in: out of the Top 20 Prospects in the organization, per MLB.com, fourteen are draft picks, and four more are free agent signings. Only two are originally from the outside of the organization, and both came via trade.
In checking two other sources for the top ten Rays’ minor league prospects, all ten names that came up were on the list of MLB’s Top 20, with the exception of Matt Moore, who was listed as a prospect. The point is, the rating sources see things pretty much the same way, and Tampa Bay has this draft thing figured out pretty well.
Last year’s draft had Tampa Bay drafting sixty players and signing forty-one. They had three picks in the first round, seven more compensatory picks, and two picks in the second round. Outfielder Mikie Mahtook, shortstop Jake Hager, and pitchers Taylor Guerrieri, Blake Snell, and Jeff Ames all products of that draft, are among the top twenty prospects in the organization.
This season, the Rays’ first pick was in number twenty-five in the first round and they chose 6’3, 210 lb. Richie Shaffer, a third baseman from Clemson. He has batted .336 for the Tigers along with ten home runs and an on-base percentage of .480 this year. He has also coaxed 63 walks on the season. With an excellent arm and big true power potential, he projects as a right-fielder or first baseman for the Rays. It seems it will be a while before he is able to challenge All-Star gold glover Evan Longoria for the job at third.
In the second round, Tampa Bay picked a high school shortstop, Spencer Edwards from Texas. Edwards hit .453 with twenty extra-base hits, and some see him as a center fielder in the future. With their third pick, the Rays chose Andrew Toles, a junior college player out of Chipola. Toles hit .367 with twenty-nine stolen bases.
So far, in their first forty selections, the Rays have taken nineteen pitchers, six catchers, nine infielders and six outfielders. Strong arms throughout the organization allowed them to go with power and speed with their first three picks.
I’ll have more on the draft in my next post, and I am sure that Sarah will chime in with her own spin on the 2012 draft as well.