Jun 30, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first round draft pick Garrett Whitley looks on prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 10, Bluefield Blue Jays 7
There was a lot of great pitching in the system on Thursday, but this one was a good old-fashioned slugfest. David Olmedo-Barrera went 4 for 4 with a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored, but he really had only the third-best game on the P-Rays. Blair Beck went 3 for 4 with a homer, a walk, 3 RBI, and 3 runs scored while Brett Sullivan went 3 for 5 with a homer, a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. The Rays brought the non-drafted free agent Beck up from the GCL even though he was hitting just .149, and he has seized the opportunity, hitting to a .375/.512/.656 line in 10 games in Princeton.
Sullivan, meanwhile, doesn’t stand out for his .243/.278/.419 line on the season, but considering his plate approach was poor in college, that can’t be a huge surprise. Even so, the Rays selected him in the 17th round because he had the bat speed and power potential to be interesting at the plate if he could get his strikeouts and walks in order, and coincidence or not, he is looking much better in his second month in the minors. In his last 11 games and 47 plate appearances, Sullivan has a .333/.362/.889 line, and it will be interesting to see how he performs the remainder of the season.
Kewby Meyer also went 2 for 5 with an RBI for the P-Rays while Peter Maris went 2 for 5 with an RBI and Jose Rojas went 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI. On the mound, Spencer Moran continues to look much more questionable as a starter than he did as a reliever, although that may be nothing more than coincidence. Moran allowed 5 runs on 8 hits in 3 innings in this game, striking out 2 while walking 2. He has a 7.36 ERA and a 9-8 strikeout to walk ratio as a starter compared to 2.25 with a 17-1 K-BB as a reliever, but he is actually averaging more innings per appearance as a reliever. This is just a case of young pitchers, even talented ones, being inconsistent.
More from Rays Prospects
- Tampa Bay Rays: Erik Neander has turned this team into a 26-man wrecking machine
- Tampa Bay Rays’ future arrives (hopefully) on Monday night with Shane Baz
- Who should the Tampa Bay Rays call-up when rosters expand?
- Tampa Bay Rays 2021 First Round Draft target: Gavin Williams
- Tampa Bay Rays 2021 Draft target: Colson Montgomery
Rookie Gulf Coast League Game 1: GCL Rays 5, GCL Twins 4 (7 innings)
This was an interesting doubleheader because the GCL Twins were home for the first game while the GCL Rays were home for the second. This game in particular was amusing because it was 1-0 after 5 innings before both teams’ bats came alive. However, as usual, it is really the individual performances that we will harp on. In this game, Tampa Bay Rays 2015 first rounder Garrett Whitley went 1 for 4 with his first professional home run. That is exciting for him, and may it be the first of many. Arguably most interesting, though, is the fact that only in this, his fifth pro game, did he strike out for the first time. He did strike out twice, but even 2 in 18 plate appearances is only half of the team average strikeout rate. It’s great to see his approach looking strong, and now the results will start to come.
This was also Daniel Robertson‘s first full rehab game after he got into just a few innings the other day, and he looked fine as he went 0 for 2 with a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and 2 runs scored. The Rays are looking forward to getting him back to Montgomery, and the hope is that he can make it Triple-A before the season is through. Usual Grays shortstop Adrian Rondon also went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored while Joseph Astacio went 2 for 4 with a stolen base and Juan Carlos Arias went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk.
Jose Disla started for the GCL Rays and tossed 3.1 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 1 while walking 3. Justin Marsden, the Rays’ high-upside 22nd rounder, then made his pro debut by facing 2 batters and retiring them both, 1 via the strikeout. Nice to see him get off to a good start. Matt LeVert then allowed 3 runs in 2.2 innings before Collin Chapman also retired both batters he saw to finish the game.
Game 2: GCL Rays 7, GCL Twins 2 (7 innings)
Rondon was right back at it again in this game, going 2 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Rondon has had his ups and downs in his first professional season, but bear in mind that he just turned 17 on July 7th yet still leads the team in walks. We have seen nothing to suggest any actual reason for concern. Astacio also went 2 for 4 with another steal and a run scored while Oscar Rojas had a big game, going 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, 2 stolen bases, an RBI, and a run scored. In addition, Miguel Hernandez went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored while Devin Davis went 1 for 3 with a walk.
On the pitching side, 19-year-old right-hander Adrian Navas got the start and looked alright, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 4 hits in 3 innings, striking out 4 while walking 2. Up next was Jesus Ortiz, the Rays’ 24th round pick from this year, and he looked dominant, tossing 3 shutout innings giving just 2 hits, a walk, and a hit batsman while striking out 5. Ortiz has pitched shutout ball since allowing 5 runs in his first appearance, but this was the first time that he truly blew by hitters. Edrick Agosto (Round 20) then finished the game with a scoreless inning, getting past a hit with 2 strikeouts and a groundout.