Rays Notes: Draft Signings, Non-Drafted Free Agents, Olympic Spirit

By Robbie Knopf

The draft is an exciting time. But it means nothing if you can’t sign your picks. Luckily, the Rays are well on their way. Thus far, the Rays have signed 12 of their 40 picks in the 2012 MLB Draft: 7th rounder Marty Gantt, 8th rounder Luke Maile, 10th rounder Sean Bierman, 18th rounder Kevin Brandt, 19th rounder Miguel Beltran, 21st rounder Jon Weaver, 22nd rounder Willie Argo, 23rd rounder Reid Redman, 30th rounder Michael Williams, 32nd rounder Ben Kline, 34th rounder Ryan Garton, and 37th rounder Rob Finneran. For scouting reports on all of the draft picks, please check out our RCG Rays 2012 Draft Profiles page, which now also denotes when a player has signed.

The MLB Draft was cut down to 40 rounds this year from 50, and what that does is eliminate 300 draft picks. Well, it’s not that all of those players who would have picked in those rounds won’t necessarily sign anyway- now they’ll sign as non-drafted free agents and choose where they want to go among interested teams. Thus far, the Rays have signed one non-drafted free agent: Alex Moshier, a right-handed pitcher out of Stephen F. Austin University.

Moshier, 6’0″, 190, is a 5th-year senior who was impressive as Stephen F. Austin’s closer in 2012, going 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA, 34 strikeouts, 17 walks, just 1 homer allowed, and 9 saves in 37 innings pitched. Moshier has arm problems in his history, missing most of 2010 with Tommy John Surgery, but he is known at Stephen F. Austin for his work ethic and he features fastball velocity in the low-90’s with some sink along with a solid slider. He’ll begin his pro career soon, and we’ll have to see whether he could be a surprise.

And finally, when the Rays go back home, you’ll notice that B.J. Upton‘s theme music as he steps up to the plate has changed to a song called “Champions.” B.J. didn’t just change his song because he likes it- he’s one of 8 well-known MLB players to change their at-bat song to “Champions” as part of Duracell’s Go for the Gold program whose goal is to provide encouragement for US athletes competing in London in the olympic games. Always nice to support our country, and it’s a catchy song too. The song is available for download by liking Duracell’s Facebook Page. Keep this in mind when you hear it starting on Tuesday when the New York Mets come to the Trop.