Tampa Bay Rays Mailbag: Examining the Rule 5 Eligibles

By Robbie Knopf
4 of 7

Mar 13, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Dylan Floro (74) throws a pitch during a spring training baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Next we have the four guys right on the border.

Luke MaileMaile could be the Rays’ third catcher now that Bobby Wilson has been claimed by the Texas Rangers, but that isn’t sufficient reason for him to make it onto the 40-man. He is a solid defensive catcher with good plate discipline (38-28 K-BB this season at Triple-A), but he has never hit for much power and is doing little other than walking this season, hitting to just a .195/.292/.292 line. He did hit the previous three years–it’s not out of the question that he will be OK–but he hasn’t done enough to be kept as an extra backstop. Maybe a trade can be worked out because there is a good chance that someone would give him a chance.

More from Rays Prospects

Patrick LeonardLeonard has rebounded from a rough start to hit to a .266/.348/.437 line on the season, including .308/.394/.500 in his last 241 plate appearances, but it still looks like he will be left off. He is like Shaffer without the same type of power–he can play the corner spots and walk a decent amount, but he strikes out without hitting a ton of home runs at this point. He has more raw power, but he still hasn’t tapped into it, and a disproportionate amount of his production is coming against lefty pitching. The Rays will likely take their chances that he goes unselected.

Tyler GoeddelGoeddel retains considerable upside–his conversion from third base to the outfield has gone very well, and he can even play some center–but he certainly isn’t ready to be a major league player. He has just a .383 SLG on the year even after his three-homer game the other day as he hasn’t bulked up enough to tap into his power potential consistently. He is fast, but not fast enough to make up for his inability to hit the ball with authority. Even if a team selects him in the Rule 5 Draft, the Rays are betting that he won’t stick on their roster.

Dylan FloroFloro has always been a low-upside pitcher, and the Rays are a little bit lucky that his bad year makes the decision to leave him off their roster much easier. He is 9-10 with a 4.71 ERA and a 72-20 strikeout to walk ratio in 122.1 innings at Triple-A this year. Floro throws strikes and keeps the ball down, but his stuff isn’t good enough to keep hitters from unloading when he makes mistakes. He can has a chance to be a swingman or a groundballing reliever in the majors, but he is a replaceable enough pitcher that the Rays will likely keep him even if he is left exposed to the Rule 5.

Next: Sorry, But Not This Year