Another shortstop drafted by the Rays? Well, yes. Edwards will likely move off the position, but he’s another athletic up-the-middle guy.
Edwards comes out of Rockwall High School in Texas. Here’s what I said about Edwards in my mock draft from several months back, where I had him going 103 overall to the Miami Marlins.
Edwards is a two-sport star who excels in both baseball and football. Incredibly athletic at 6’0″, 180, Edwards is raw in all facets of the game, but if he puts his focus exclusively on baseball, he could be an excellent player. Edwards has 4.40 speed in the 40 yard dash that translates on the basepaths and out of the batter’s box. He moves extremely well at shortstop (although his ability to cover ground could possibly be put to better use in centerfield) and he has the great arm a shortstop needs. Hitting is the most raw part of Edwards’ game, but he has shown nice bat speed with power. Edwards also happens to be apparently a little more signable than some of these other two-sport players, although he’ll likely end up with a two-sport bonus nevertheless. Edwards has the upside that captivates teams, and he has the ability to be an excellent baseball player if he can dedicate himself to baseball and develop his tools.
The Pick: Spencer Edwards, SS/OF, Rockwall High School, TX
Edwards features nice speed , which we know the Rays love, and his overall upside is intriguing. A two-sport star in high school, it will be interesting to see how Edwards can develop if the Rays can sign him and he can dedicate all his time to baseball. A concern with him is a lot of movement in his stance, something that the Rays could look to adjust once they get him signed. Defensively, Edwards has a great arm and covers ground well, but the concern for him at storstop was choppy actions and he may be able to make better use of his speed in centerfield. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rays do give Edwards a shot on the infield because of his range and arm, but he does profile very well in centerfield.
Edwards’ upside is a 4-tool player who hits for a nice .280-.290 average with 15 homer, 30 doubles power, 10 triples, 40 steals, and very good defense in centerfield with an excellent arm. The Rays can’t get enough of athletic players with speed, but while that’s Edwards’ calling card right now, he has the ability to have a very good all-around game. Edwards is raw at the plate, but what I like about him is that he has shown nice bat speed at the plate and doesn’t look entirely like a football player playing baseball. Hopefully the Rays can get Edwards signed and we’ll get to see what he can do.