Rays Prospects

Takeaways From Tampa Bay Rays’ Winter Ball Results Part 4

By Robbie Knopf
4 of 8

Jaime Schultz: Don’t describe him as anything more than a sleeper

Since the moment that the Rays selected him in the 14th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, Jaime Schultz has been a sleeper in the system. Is there a better word to describe a player that was available so late in the draft despite a fastball touching 96 MPH?

Schultz has since struck out 11.6 batters per 9 innings in his 104.1 professional frames, inspiring further confidence that he could become a real prospect. Of course, he also has walked 5.0 batters per 9 and dealt with injury issues for much of 2014, two factors going against him. His AFL numbers are a third.

Seven starts and 27.1 innings pitched is far from a big sample size, but it can’t be a good thing that Schultz managed just a 4.71 ERA and a ghastly 28-23 strikeout to walk ratio. He had his moments, including one start where he struck out 7 while walking 2 in 5 one-run innings, but when your stuff is as electric as his, you’re supposed to look better on the whole.

Schultz will turn 24 in June and has just 23 innings above High-A under his belt. His fastball and sharp breaking ball give him a chance, especially in a relief role, but he has a long way to go before he winds up on the prospect map. The AFL could have been the start of Schultz zooming through the system, but instead, he will head back to High-A and need the perfect storm of health and control to make up for his missed opportunity.