Rays Prospects

Rays Winter Leagues Recap: Kes Carter Drives in 2 for Peoria

By Robbie Knopf

Four different Tampa Bay Rays prospects got into Thursday’s game for the Peoria Javelinas, and the news was mostly good as the quartet helped lead Peoria to a blowout win.

Arizona Fall League: Peoria Javelinas 11, Scottsdale Scorpions 2

Kes Carter got hot after a late-season promotion to Double-A Montgomery this season, and the Rays sent him to the AFL to see if he can sustain that. He showed signs of being all to do so in this game, going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Justin O’Conner also had a strong performance, going 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored, but he did make an error and allow a passed ball. Then there was Patrick Leonard, who drilled an RBI double but then left the game after being hit by a pitch. Hopefully he is OK.

On the pitching side, Colton Reavis took the hill for the Javelinas and looked sharp, going 2 innings allowing just 1 hit, striking out 2 while walking none. Reavis impressed between Low-A and High-A this season after being a 30th round pick in 2013, and his first appearance was more of the same. Could the Rays have found a gem in the late rounds of the draft that could work his way to their big league bullpen? It will likely be years before we know about that, but it’s nice to see Reavis continue to do well.

Venezuelan Winter League: Bravos de Margarita 7, Navegantes del Magallanes 0

The Venezuelan Winter League had its opening day yesterday and will add some variety to our coverage here. The Mexican Pacific League and Dominican Winter League are coming soon as well.

In this game, Taylor Motter led off and led the way for Margarita, going 2 for 5 with a triple, a double, an RBI, and a run scored. The Bravos even put Motter in centerfield, although he did wind up making an error. Motter showed surprising power for the Biscuits this season, slamming 16 home runs, and the Rays hope he can build on that momentum with the Bravos. If he can sustain such power, a big league role will become a much more likely possibility.

Reinaldo Lopez also appeared in the game for Magallanes, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in 2 innings of work, striking out 1. Lopez managed a 3.49 ERA in 142 innings for the Charlotte Stone Crabs this season, and while this game did not go well, it would be nice for him to gain more confidence this winter.