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. 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 …
#15: John David Field, OF, 23 years old
- Bats: Right Ht/Wt: 5’10” 190 lbs
- Drafted: in the 5th rd of the 2013 MLB draft
- Signed: for $247,500
- 2015 Affiliate: Montgomery, AA
- Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2016+
Field’s 2015 Splits
- Follow him on Twitter: @JohnnyField1
- His father was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and coached him in 3 sports including soccer, wrestling, and baseball
- Was ranked 422nd on BA’s Top 500 draft eligible prospects pre-2013 draft
- Hit .347/.424/.526 pre-draft for Arizona and walked 25 times while striking out only 22 times
- Initially, it was believed the Rays may try him at 2B but he’s been used in OF only
- The reason he was never developed as a 2B? “Last two or three weeks of the season in the span of two weeks I broke my jaw and then I broke my hamate bone in back to back weeks. So, I went to instructs just to rehab obviously and didn’t get a chance as a second baseman.”
- Received the Tampa Bay Rays’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2014
- Despite the accolade from the Rays, he was only ranked 27th by BA post-2014
- Admits in interviews that he fully realizes he doesn’t have the “WOW” tools, but that it drives him to work harder
Best Johnny Field quote:
"“Setting goals at a young age has always helped me out to be the best I can be and that’s advice I’d give any young kid who wants to play professional baseball one day,” “Set your goals high and do whatever it takes to reach those goals.”"
Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics on Field:
"“He works at the game very hard. You wouldn’t put him in a category with some of the other players with total skill, but he has proven with heart, determination and the skill he has that he has become a really good player.”"
Field’s good friends with NYY 2B Rob Refsnyder:
Best Tools & Abilities
- Makeup and drive that are off the charts
- Grit and athletic ability
- Great power-speed combination
- Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 50 | Arm: 45 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
Johnny Field plays baseball in the very way all parents would want their kids to play: grinding it out all of the time. His focus and ability to come out and put a charge into every play he’s involved in are attributes that are self-driven, not taught.
While some guys can have the right buttons pushed into to reach another level, Field has taken the task of pushing himself to new levels on with gusto and continues to prove he can punch above what his size and tools indicated he could have done when he was younger.
Getting drafted by the Rays was a dream come true for Field, and he’s fully committed to the franchise, stating:
"“I would love to play for the Rays. Now that I’m here I love the organization, I love how they take a lot of pride in bringing up their prospects,” “I’d love to play for them and help them win a championship someday.”"
Considering how much winning Field has done over his career so far, we can’t put that championship in TB past him. His HS team, Bishop Gorman, won the state championship four times, and his Arizona College team won the College World Series in 2012. Add in his 2014 Rays minor league player of the year award in 2014 and you get a sense that Field has done nothing but win since he’s laced up his baseball cleats.
There are now few that doubt Field’s ability to play the OF well enough to be known as a prominent OF prospect within the Rays organization. What continues to be debated is whether or not his bat will play at the major league level. The areas where we have no concern at all are his ability to work hard enough to continue to improve, and in his power-speed combination which we expect to play well enough to reach the 20/20 level.
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The Rays lost a few OF prospects whenTyler Goeddel
were selected in the rule 5 draft. Although that was a big loss to the Rays OF depth, it was also a boon to Field’s chances of getting a look in the Rays OF as early as 2016. Although he only has one season of AA time under his belt, he ended that season with a whopping 15 extra base hits in only 108 PA and managed a sturdy .242/.343/.473 in August.
Should he have a strong spring, Field could put himself in a position to begin the year in AAA and challenge for a call up during all of 2016. He’ll need to improve his approach vs RHP (.244/.307/.430) to be considered a regular in MLB, but with the way he crushed LHP in 2015 (.301/.412/.518) we already see some split role opportunities existing for Field among the Rays OF.
It’s good to recognize that the loss of both Goeddel and Rickard hurt the OF depth the Rays have to work with, but with guys like Johnny Field marching up the ranks it’s easy to remain excited about what the future Rays OF will look like.
Never under-rate him, don’t discount his chances to earn a regular spot in the outfield, and know that he’s going to do whatever it takes for him to get the most out of his skills. His makeup alone will make him a great addition to the Rays clubhouse, and we know his attitude and work ethic will be a benefit to the Rays once he gets the call. We wish Field all of the best and look forward to seeing him in TB.