Rays Prospects

Takeaways From Tampa Bay Rays’ Winter Ball Results Part 3

By Robbie Knopf
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Mar 18, 2014; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Wil Myers (9) is congratulated after scoring against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Motter: He isn’t done proving himself yet

After the Rays left Motter unprotected prior to the Rule 5 Draft, some speculated that some team would select him and give him a chance. After all, he was coming off a season at Double-A Montgomery that him hit to a .274/.326/.436 line with 16 homers and 15 stolen bases. Combine his improved power with excellent versatility, and Motter has the makings of a strong big league bench player.

However, teams weren’t yet convinced enough by Motter’s bat to pick him, and his middling performance in the Venezuelan Winter League reminds us why. Motter hit to a .243/.309/.426 line with 6 homers and 7 stolen bases in 167 plate appearances.

Motter has did a better job hitting the ball with authority in 2014, but it came at the cost of his usual plate discipline. With Triple-A pitchers set to attack Motter with more secondary pitches than he has ever seen before, will his more aggressive approach continue to work? Motter has a chance to earn a 40-man roster spot with a strong year at Durham, but let’s see if he can perform before we expect anything from him.