Rays Notes: Reginatto Impresses in WBC, Future Power Rankings, Chris Archer, Roster Moves

By Robbie Knopf

The World Baseball Classic features some of the best players from all around the globe representing their home countries. Considering he hasn’t even made it to full-season ball in the Rays organization, Leonardo Reginatto does not exactly fit the mold. But you wouldn’t know it based on how he did on Saturday. Brazil played twice and lost both times, but that was by no means the fault of Reginatto, who went 4 for 7 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Reginatto a third baseman and shortstop, has been on fire since helping the Hudson Valley Renegades win the New York-Penn League championship with a postseason performance, and although Brazil’s odds of advancing are almost zero after their two losses on the first day, the breakthrough that Reginatto has made might just be something that can last.

A few days ago, ESPN released their annual future power rankings, and the Rays unsurprisingly were right up there at the top, finishing third behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. ESPN writers Buster Olney and Keith Law praised the Rays for the Wil Myers trade and the young players and prospects in the system. Among the five criteria ESPN used to rank the 30 teams was finances, and it’s pretty incredible that the Rays were able to overcome that obvious bias against them to finish third in the rankings. If you needed a reminder, the future still looks very bright for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Chris Archer is a pitcher who has caught the eye of a lot of people at Rays camp by touching 98 MPH with his fastball in his last appearance. But while Rays fans are exciting to see what the coming years with hold from Archer, Marc Topkin talked to Archer about his past, how he overcame having essentially no relationship with his biological father and mother to get as far as he has in his career and in his life with the help of his adopted parents, his maternal grandmother and her husband. Archer has always been a pitcher that has been different than your average fireballing young right-hander, always being a thoughtful guy and really making an effort to get involved in his community, and his journey to get to this point played a big role in him becoming just that.

The Rays actually made a few roster moves over the past couple days, albeit only minor ones. Firstly, they agreed to deals with all their pre-arbitration players, a formality but still something nice to get out of the way, and then they reassigned right-handers Matt Nevarez and Jim Paduch and lefties Jimmy Petterson, and Neil Schenk to minor league camp, and considering only Schenk even spent most of 2012 at Triple-A that wasn’t too surprising. Nevarez is the most interesting pitcher of that group, featuring a mid-90’s fastball and a sharp slider, while Patterson has a chance to be a pitcher who could get both lefties and righties out with a fastball with late life, a slider, and a chnangeup. It was the first big league camp for all four of them, and although it didn’t last very long, it had to have been an exciting experience that makes them even hungrier to achieve their dream of pitching in the major leagues.