Sep 18, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays prospect pitcherBlake Snell
is awarded minor league player of the year before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
LHP – Blake Snell – 22 years old – AAA
The Minor League Player of the Year for the Rays is ready for MLB now. He could feasibly step in and throw 180 high quality innings from the left side in 2016. A potential ace, he’s got everything he needs to succeed in MLB.
RHP – Jacob Faria – 22 years old – AA
Another impressive arm, from the right side this time, he’s also ready for a full season of innings and has proven to be dominant at the AA level. He could use more seasoning in AAA, which he’ll likely get, but at any point in 2016, if he’s required, he’ll be ready to go.
RHP – Taylor Guerrieri – 23 years old – AA
Unlike the other two above, he may have an innings limit in 2016, but he’s just as ready for The Show as Snell is. One of the best RHP arms in the minors today, he has the makeup to handle a promotion at any point.
RHP – Jaime Schultz – 24 years old – AA
He may not have the pedigree or sexy peripherals of the guys above but he definitely has the stuff to compete and give his team a chance to win. He’s someone that Rays fans could get to know a lot more intimately in the next year or so and he deserves more attention than he’s getting.
RHP – Ryne Stanek – 24 years old – AA
The Rays could use Stanek as either a starter or a reliever. He excelled in both roles last season but his dominance over RHB (.182/.269/.263) and the depth of starters – as listed above – may push him towards the pen.
RHP – Burch Smith – 25 years old – AAA
He spent 2015 recovering from injury but Smith should be seen as a viable option once he’s regained his form in 2016. Due to innings issues, he’d likely be relegated to the pen, but at this point, it’s likely his best option to get a look in The Show.
In short, the Rays have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to pitching options and will have options to decide between in every single role.
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