Tampa Bay Rays prospects were back in action in the Arizona Fall League on Wednesday. Tuesday saw a nice AFL debut from Justin O’ Conner, but Rays prospects did not have as good of a showing on day two. Still, these players are getting extra developmental time against some of the best minor league talent, and they will only become better because of it.
Arizona Fall League: Surprise Saguaros 8, Peoria Javelinas 2
Jaime Schultz came to the AFL needing to build up innings after just throwing 60.0 in 2014 thanks to injury problems. In that time though, Schultz dominated, throwing to a 2.40 ERA between Low-A and High-A with a 79-29 K-BB ratio. Schultz has the electric stuff to be one of the top pitching prospects in the Rays systems, and he needs to put injury and command issues behind him if he wants to get to that level. That did not happen in his first start for Peoria, though, as Schultz allowed five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out one in 2.0 innings of work.
Likewise, Rays hitting prospects that played in this game did not have much success. Kes Carter, occupying the 7th spot in the order for Peoria, went 0 for 3 in his first AFL action. Carter has not done much as a pro thanks to injuries and poor performance, but he finally showed signs of life by hitting .241/.339/.377 in 56 Double-A games this year. That line isn’t impressive, but the Rays are hoping they can salvage Carter’s career and turn the lefty into a passable platoon outfielder.
Oddly enough, Rays catching prospect Luke Maile also appeared in this game, but it was for Surprise. Usually each Rays prospect will play on the same team, but apparently Surprise needed an extra catcher, and the Rays and Maile obliged. Maile will be on the Surprise taxi squad, meaning that he is only active for Wednesday games. Like Carter, Maile went hitless in his AFL season debut, though he did have an RBI. Maile’s .268/.341/.387 line at Double-A this year was nothing too impressive, but he has shown ability to be an average everyday backstop thanks to a decent all-around package on offense and defense.