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.
More from Rays Colored Glasses
- Tampa Bay Rays give richest contract in franchise history to Wander Franco
- Remembering Julio Lugo’s time with the Tampa Bay Rays
- Are you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?
- Rays: Just how good was Randy Arozarena’s rookie season?
- Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino stands out despite low batting average
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. Mikie 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 …
#24: Ryne Thomas Stanek, RHP, 24 years old
- Throws: Right Ht/Wt: 6’4″ 180 lbs
- Drafted: by the Rays in the 1st rd, 29th overall, of the 2013 draft
- Signed: for $1,758,300
- 2015 Affiliate: Montgomery, AA
- Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2017+
Stanek’s Fielding Stats
Stanek’s 2015 Splits
- Follow him on Twitter: @rstanek_55
- Was once the SEC Pitcher of the Week
- Over his 3 years in Arkansas, Stanek managed a 2.55 ERA, BAA of .216, and a 22-8 record
- In the 2012 College World Series, Stanek pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 Hits and 1 ER.
- Ranked 17th best Rays prospect pre-2015 by Minor League Ball
- His K rate dropped 4.2% once promoted from HiA to AA, while his BB rate rose 4%
Had hip surgery in late 2013:
After his younger brother Brendan signed with his Arkansas Razorbacks, Ryne Tweeted the following:
Best Tools & Abilities
- Four average to above-average pitches
- Poise and determination on the mound
- Above-Average Slider
- Fangraphs Grades: FB 55/60, SL 50/55, CB 45/50, CU 40/50, Command 40/45+
There are few that would argue with the fact that Ryne Stanek has the stuff to become a number 3, possibly a number 2, starter. His poise on the mound, his makeup, and his arsenal of pitches make him hard to hit and it shows up in all of his years in the minors.
He attacks hitters from a 3/4 delivery and has a true strike out pitch in his slider, which works off a very effective fastball (92-96 MPH). The curve and change up are behind those and remain average pitches, but they allow him to keep hitters on their toes.
It was great to see Stanek exceed the 100 IP mark in 2015, reaching 112.1 IP. While it doesn’t yet make him a workhorse, it put him in the conversation for a possible 140-150 inning season in 2016, where he can really set the tone on his career and possibly put a stamp on whether he belongs in the pen, or in the rotation.
There’s a great argument to be made for Stanek to either start, or to reliever. On the starter front, his ceiling makes him enticing, so long as he can remain healthy. On the relief front, his fastball and slider combination would make him extremely effective, and his dominant line vs RHB of .182/.269/.263 would provide him a role.
The health issues he’s faced, the mediocre performance he managed once promoted to AA, and the question marks about starting and relieving are what keeps him from being in our top 20. Despite that, there’s every reason to believe that one way or another, Stanek will make it to The Show in 2016 or 2017, and will get a shot to earn a role at that time.
Stanek will likely get his first full season in AA and should take a step forward as a starter. If he can prove that his command is strong enough to lower his AA BB/9 (4.52) to what it was in HiA (2.66), he’s likely to remain in the starter conversation going forward.
When he does get the call to the Majors, there’s a very good chance his first opportunity will come as a long-reliever. It’s a great way to ease him into the majors, and with the wealth of starters the Rays have in their possession, it would allow Stanek the opportunity to gain the experience he needs.
Once he has the experience he needs, it’s hard to say what the call will be. It’s essentially a coin flip at this point, and some of the call may be based on Rays needs. If they have 5 strong healthy starters, it will be hard for him to work his way in. But so long as he stays healthy and effective, he should be one of the next-in-lines, in the same way Alex Colome was for the Rays in 2015.
There’s plenty to love about Stanek and as stated above, he could very well make a big leap forward in 2016. With plenty of great starters likely working with him in Montgomery, he’ll get plenty of opportunity to learn with them and from them, and will be working within a very talented AA team.
A full and healthy season for Stanek will likely point to his remaining on the starter’s path until he does get the call to The Show. If he falters, however, you can expect the Rays to possibly look at the pen as an option for him, something that would make him available to them as early as this season. We wish him on of the best in 2016 and hope he adds what he needs to regain his dominant form.