Rays’ Top Prospects Honored
Great game for the Rays yesterday, and it was great timing as the Rays’ had several of their top prospects in the house as the handed out their organizational awards. Chris Archer, the Rays’ starter in the game, was named the Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Between the majors and minors now, Archer has gone just 8-11, but with a 10.0 K/9, a 4.2 BB/9, and a 0.5 HR/9 in 29 starts, 1 relief appearance, and 155.1 IP as he has had a breakout season. Outfielder Todd Glaesmann was named the Rays Minor League Player of the Year after a season in which he posted a .285/.336/.495 line with 25 doubles,7 triples, 21 homers, 75 RBI, and 8 stolen bases in 127 games between Low-A Bowling Green and High-A Charlotte. Glaesmann has always had nice raw ability, but this season he finally put it all together. Here are the rest of the Rays’ minor league awards along with their stats and a little analysis in between.
Triple-A Durham MVP: OF/1B Leslie Anderson (116 G, .309/.355/.450, 21 doubles, 14 homers, 56 RBI)
Anderson, a Cuban defector, has been a disappointment for the most part since the Rays signed him, but he was great this season.
Double-A Montgomery MVP: RHP Alex Colome (14 GS, 75 IP, 8-3, 3.48 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 0.3 HR/9)
Colome missed quite a bit of time with injuries, but his stuff is electric and the Rays love his potential.
High-A Charlotte MVP: SS/2B Derek Dietrich (98 G, .282/.343/.468, 21 doubles, 9 triples, 10 homers, 58 RBI)
Dietrich may not be able to stay at shortstop, but he’s one of the few Rays middle infield prospects with real, surfacing power
Low-A Bowling Green MVP: RF Drew Vettleson (132 G, .275/.340/.432, 24 doubles, 5 triples, 15 homers, 69 RBI, 20 SB)
Vettleson is not only talented but he also has been solid all the way through the past two seasons while his fellow 2010 first rounders Joshua Sale and Justin O’Conner have been extremely inconsistent.
Short Season-A Hudson Valley MVP: RHP Jeff Ames (14 G, 13 GS, 6-1, 64.1 IP, 1.96 ERA, 9.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.1 HR/9)
A little bit of a shocker here that Ames won this award over teammate and fellow 2011 first rounder Taylor Guerrieri (just 1-2, but 7.8 K/9, 0.9 BB/9, and 0.0 HR/9). I guess you couldn’t give a minor league award to a pitcher with just 1 win. Ames is nevertheless a very talented pitcher and he had a great season.
Advanced Rookie Princeton MVP: LHP Blake Snell (11 GS, 47.1 IP, 2.09 ERA, 10.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9)
The number of homers he allowed was a little surprising, but Snell has missed bats with his power sinker and great changeup since the moment he entered pro ball.
Rookie GCL Rays MVP: UTIL Ben Kline (36 G, .347/.393/.419, 6 doubles, 1 homer, 16 RBI, 10 SB)
Kline was placed against lower competition as the Rays made him prove himself from the start, but he lived up to the challenge and wound up finishing the season at Low-A Bowling Green.
Rookie DSL Rays MVP: 3B/1B Alexander Simon (66 G, .328/.408/.502, 16 doubles, 6 triples, 5 homers, 46 RBI, 12 SB)
Simon is about to turn 20 years old and still hasn’t played in the US, but he has some power, speed, and even a little plate discipline. He’s nothing more than a sleeper prospect, but you never know when something clicks.
Rookie VSL Rays MVP: CF Jose Paez (61 G, .364/.430/.536, 13 doubles, 9 triples, 4 homers, 29 RBI, 12 SB)
Paez just turned 19 and he has 4-tool potential as a centerfield prospect. The catch is that he’s extremely raw. He’s another deep sleeper, but the good news is that he’ll be just 19 when he debuts in the US next year.
Best Defender: OF Kevin Kiermaier (for some reason I’ll list his offensive stats: 63 G, .260/.363/.350, 7 doubles, 6 triples, 13 RBI, 10 SB)
Kiermaier’s bat may never come along, but he makes dazzling plays in centerfield and is a scrappy player with speed and plate discipline. He did miss most of 2012 with injuries. He profiles well as a fourth outfielder type for the Rays.
Best Baserunner: SS Hak-Ju Lee (116 G, .261/.336/.360, 15 doubles, 10 triples, 4 homers, 37 RBI, 37 SB)
Lee is one of the Rays’ best prospects, and although his bat hasn’t quite been as good as the Rays would have hoped at Double-A, his speed is outstanding and he has Gold Glove ability at shortstop.
Best Reliever: Chris Rearick (49 G, 4-4, 2.70 ERA, 10.9 K/9, a 3.0 BB/9, 0.5 HR/9, 22 savess)
Rearick struggled after heading up to Double-A (he had a 1.79 ERA at High-A), but he’s a lefty with good if not exhilarating stuff and he has the ability to get both lefties and righties out. He could be a bullpen option for the Rays at some point next season.
Congrats to all the winners. No major shockers here- other than Ames taking the award over Guerrieri. The Rays also chose to honor Anderson and Vettleson even though Archer and Glaesmann easily could have won their team awards as well. Both were Anderson and Vettleson were definitely deserving, though, after strong seasons. All the award winners were in attendance on Wednesday and some others tagged along as well. Here’s Vettleson, Spencer Edwards, and Jake Hager, all of whom were drafted within the first 2 rounds of the MLB Draft by the Rays in the past three years. From left to right, that’s Hager, Vettleson, and Edwards.
Rodney’s Archery Club (@RACRays) also got some shots of the prospects as they promoted their Twitter page. Cool to see these guys on the field and actually get to see what they look like. Can’t say I know who everyone is (please tell me who I don’t know in the comments), but here’s the Rays prospects who RAC inducted into their ranks on Wednesday. I see Glaesmann, Lee, Vettleson, Dietrich and somebody else, Kiermaier, and I absolutely have no idea.
Great to see everyone in attendance and thankfully they got to see a great Rays win. We also see that even with players like Matt Moore and Archer graduating to the big leagues this season, the Rays still have talented players coming and we know that the future is still very bright for the Rays.