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 …
#49: Resly Linares, LHP, 18 years old
- Throws: Left Ht/Wt: 6’2″ 165 lbs
- Signed: as an international Free Agent for $275,000 in 2014
- 2015 Affiliate: DSL Rays
- Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2020+
Linares’ 2015 Splits
- Follow him on Twitter:
- Trained with Pablo Lantigua before signing with the Rays
- Despite facing 190 batters as one of youngest in DSL, did not allow a single HR and only walked 15
- Did get knocked around more by LHB who managed a .412 OBP against him
- Clearly needs some work pitching with runners on in terms of BB, but still proves hard to hit
- K% was an impressive 31.1%
- Along with Jesus Sanchez, made the DSL all-star team
Best Tools & Abilities
- Fastball which reaches 91 MPH already
- Breaking ball which shows promise
- Athleticism and effective delivery
If you’re looking way past the horizon for a pitcher that could climb the ranks and eventually make his mark in TB, Linares is your man. He just turned 18 this December, but Linares is already indicating that he has some intriguing stuff and that he could move through the system efficiently as a result of his polish.
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Evaluating pitchers in the DSL is always hard to do, and you never can tell how they’ll adjust to the game on North American soil. However, the few things to look for that could point to a positive include low walk rates, effectiveness vs both LHB and RHB, and a good to impressive K%. Liners checks off all of those marks and more.
Linares will need to refine his approach vs LHB, as stated above, but a .286 average against isn’t that worrisome at a young age. He’s so dominant vs RHB and with bases empty that it should allow for a focus on his approach vs LHB and with runners on.
His 0.51 ERA and 0.962 whip in July, in the summer heat of the DR, are two of the most impressive stats he accomplished in 2015. They compare to fellow Rays prospect Yonny Chirinos who managed a 0.62 ERA and 0.724 whip in July while he pitched in the VSL. The difference? Chirinos was 19 years old, while Linares was 17 years old.
Linares’ stats so far also stand heads above what another Rays prospect, German Marquez, was able to accomplish at the same age. We’re not saying he’ll exceed what Marquez has accomplished since then, but it definitely makes him someone we want to follow going forward.
The Rays saw how quickly things can go from excellent to worrisome when they watched Orlando Romero go from an impressive performance in the VSL to struggling in the GCL. Linares is a more intriguing prospect and has a higher ceiling than Romero does. With that in mind, and his overall polish, he could find himself in the GCL this season and be pushing for some time in Princeton by season’s end.
At that point, we’ll re-assess what his ceiling may be. For now, we’ll point to a role as a reliever at a minimum unless he really falters once he makes the jump to the U.S. and will hope that he is able to follow through and make it to The Show as a starter. If he does, it’s hard to put a number on how well he’d do, but if he continues on his current path, it should be a whole lot of fun to watch.
Not much is known about Linares and we need to see him throw in the GCL before we make a more thorough assessment of what he has to offer. However, just looking at the numbers and seeing what he’s been able to accomplish at such a young age, we can’t help but to be impressed by his performance and intrigued by his potential.
Keep an eye on Resly Linares in 2016. The Rays invested heavily in his arm and he, along with Jesus Sanchez, represents one of the more intriguing international talents coming over from Latin America in 2016. If our gut feelings on both of them are correct, they may be two of the best investments the Rays have made in a long time. We wish Linares well in his new challenge and hope he transitions well to the GCL.