Rays Prospects

Takeaways From Tampa Bay Rays’ Winter Ball Results Part 5

By Robbie Knopf
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Kes Carter: There are still tools here

By all accounts, Kes Carter has been a disappointment since the Rays made him a supplemental first round pick in 2011. He followed up a .671 OPS at High-A in 2013 with a .674 mark between High-A and Double-A in 2014. He has never hit lefties at all, and he’s performing poorly even though he has never been particularly young for his level. At the very least, though, the abilities that made the Rays regard him so highly are still there.

Carter showed flashes of his potential after getting a bump to Double-A Montgomery to fill a spot and open up opportunities for others at High-A Charlotte. He hit to a .241/.339/.377 line in 230 plate appearances, including a .253/.345/.429 line against right-handed pitching. He played well enough that the Rays sent him to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit to a .199/.288/.382 line, standing out for his power if nothing else.

Carter is still a long-shot to be an impact player in the major leagues, but his stint in Montgomery and decent showing in the AFL remind us not to count him out entirely. Carter still features raw power, speed, and the defensive chops to play centerfield. If he can carry his recent strides into this season, he could still have a future as a big league fourth outfielder despite his flaws.