Rays 2016 Top 50 Prospects: Number 32, Joe McCarthy


Rays Top 50 Prospects includes a tremendous number of high-quality prospects. We at RCG are bringing you an in-depth look at those we consider to be the Top 50.

While gathering as much information as possible from various sources, we’re going to put it all together for your enjoyment and raise the bar on what you expect from a prospect knowledgable site. Stay tuned, check-in often, and please let us know how we’re doing.

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Being such a lengthy process, some encouragement will go a very long way. We hope you’ll enjoy reading this series as much as we enjoy putting it together. If anything, all of us will know that much more about the quality of the Rays system.

The rankings will be based on all aspects of each prospect, but will focus first on how likely the player is to make an impact in MLB, and ceiling next. Mike Mahtook and Enny Romero have been graduated to the majors and will not be included in these rankings.

Once completed, the Top 50 will be updated mid-season with an explanation to why they’re moving up or down, and the entire process will be repeated each season.

The next player to be examined in detail is …

#32: Joseph Edward McCarthy, LF, 21 years old

  • Bats: Left Ht/Wt: 6’3″ 215 lbs
  • Drafted: by the Rays in the 5th round of the 2015 draft
  • 2015 Affiliate: Hudson Valley, SS
  • Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2019+

McCarthy’s Stats

McCarthy’s Fielding Stats

McCarthy’s 2015 Splits

Player Facts

  • Hit .303/.431/.426 with 11 HR/25 SB in 115 GP while at Virginia
  • Lauded for his ability to get on base
  • Noted for his 89 BB to 66 SO over his first two College years as being one of the toughest outs
  • Had back surgery which cost him some time the last season in College, but still helped his team to a championship
  • Virginia was 21-14 overall and 7-11 in ACC play without McCarthy in lineup, and improved to 18-8 with McCarthy in the lineup after his surgery

Best Tools & Abilities

  • Power Potential
  • Above-Average Speed
  • Controls the strike zone very well

Our Thoughts

If you ask anyone what they’ll waiting to see from Joe McCarthy since he’s been with the Rays, it’s one single thing: power. Sure, you can anticipate, project, or pretend power will return based on a player’s past performances and attributes, but seeing it done on the field is extremely important. We’re giving Joe a pass for this season due to the surgery still being fresh and know there’s still a lot of good that came out of 2015.

More from Rays Colored Glasses

McCarthy was able to dominate LHP as he should and maintained his above-average OBP rate at .362. He remained a tough out and wore down opposing pitching and most importantly showed that he could still bring the speed, stealing 18 bases in 21 attempts, good for an above-average 86% success rate.

While it’s nice to see the speed return and the hand-eye / strike zone judgment continue to be strengths for McCarthy, they aren’t going to mean much if he can’t power the fall all over the park. He will be used as a LF due to a fringy arm and limited range, so there will be expectations of at least 15-20 HR potential.


There’s no way to tell how a back surgery will impact a player’s ability to hit for power. I don’t know what the exact nature of the surgery was or how serious in nature it was. All we know for certain is that he was supposed to be out for 3 months, and that he was able to return successfully and continue playing at a high level.

As he moves forward and further from the surgery, I do expect his power to return and to prove worth of 20+ HR projections. With the possibility of a strong OBP and 15-25 SB paired with that, you can see the potential value that McCarthy holds for the Rays.

We’re really looking forward to seeing what kind of production McCarthy has in him for 2016 and expect him to range into the 12-24 top Rays prospects range if he meets our expectations.


The Rays may of stolen one in the 5th round of the 2015 draft. Sure, he still has a ton of work to do and won’t be on the top 20 map until he proves the power returns in 2016, but if and when it does return, he’ll put his name near the top of future LF options for the Rays.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Top 50 Prospects: #10 Ryan Brett

As an expected 1st round sandwich pick before the surgery occurred, McCarthy should be viewed as a well worthwhile project that the Rays banked on to come to fruition from 2016 onwards. We’ll see if they were right in making that call and whether or not it pays off for the franchise.