Rays 2016 Top 50 Prospects: Number 6, Brent Honeywell
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.
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.
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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
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 …
#6: Brent Lee Honeywell, RHP, 20 years old
- Throws: Right Ht/Wt: 6’3″ / 180 lbs
- Drafted: in the 2nd rd of the 2014 MLB draft
- Signed: for $800,000
- 2015 Affiliate: Charlotte, HiA
- Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2017+
Honeywell’s 2015 Stats
Honeywell’s 2015 Fielding Stats
Honeywell’s 2015 Splits
- Follow him on Twitter:@brent_honeywell
- His father, Bent Sr, also played in the minor leagues
- Favourite movies are Rookie of the Year and Bull Durham and enjoys playing xbox
- If there’s one knock on Honeywell, it’s the time it takes him to deliver the ball due to a long deliberate pause as he gets set to pitch, which leads to quite a few SB against
- Honeywell’s claim to fame, so far, is his screwball which he describes as “It is a left-handed curveball out of a right-handed arm slot,”
- Believe us when we say that to throw an effective screwball you have to put in the work. Honeywell goes through this to make it all happen: “Every day, the Rays prospect gets down on one knee to lob six-pound iron balls with a pronated motion. He goes through an intense band workout that the Honeywells call “tubing.” And when he was 13, he began to learn Marshall’s screwball, via his father.”
- Placed 100th on Fangraph’s KATOH rankings (WAR to age 28)
Best Honeywell quote when asked who he’d be most afraid of to pitch against in the Major Leagues (active or retired), he replied:
"“Nobody. You can’t pitch scared, that sets yourself up for failure.”"
Which matches the following quote from Mitch Lukevics, Director of Minor League Operations:
"“He’s probably more confident than 95 percent of the players that I’ve come across in my 40-plus years of Minor League baseball, which is a really good thing,” “You like cocky-confident.”"
Looking sharp in motion,
Best Tools & Abilities
- Lightning quick arm action
- Confidence beyond his years
- Screwball and polished arsenal to support it
- Grades: Fastball 50/55, Curveball 45/50, Changeup 55/60, Command 40/50
If you’re looking for yet another high-quality arm in an already loaded system, look no further than Brent Honeywell. Many have him ranked within the top 2-3 Rays prospect at the moment, and in truth, any of our top 6 can be swapped around without much retort. That’s just a reflection of how deep the Rays system is.
In Honeywell’s case, everything begins and ends with the screwball, a pitch he’s worked on for a very long time and that he entirely believes in. With the success he’s had so far, who can blame him?
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Overall, he throws 4 pitches including a 90-93 MPH fastball which can touch 95-97, a 77-79 MPH changeup that grades out as average, a “work-in-progress” breaking ball, and of course his above-average (we guess) screwball.
What all of his pitches do best, however, is keep both LHB and RHB off balance. Essentially, it’s as if Honeywell is able to throw in a manner that makes him both a RHP and LHP. The ball looks the same to the hitter because of the spin and angles they’re forced to work with.
The work ethic and overall makeup Honeywell has shown thus far are outstanding and he’s shown in a short time that he’s able to handle the pressure of being moved ahead aggressively.
Working in a franchise that normally takes its time developing pitchers, he’s bucked the trend and much of that comes form the makeup and unshakeable confidence he holds in his abilities. He has a plan, he’s working towards his goals, and the coaches are happy to let him continue with the screwball as long as it doesn’t hinder the progress of his other pitches jeopardize his arm.
While some believe he could return to Charlotte to begin the year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him begin the year in Montgomery and remain there all season long. Honeywell proved in his last month of the season at Charlotte that he was willing and able to pitch to contact in order to work longer in games. In 5 of his last 6 starts, he managed to reach 6 IP at a minimum and only allowed 15 hits in those 32 IP. In short, he proved he was well ahead of the curve and ready to challenge AA.
One of the best feats Honeywell accomplished in 2015 was that he only allowed more than 1 BB in a game 6 times, and only more than 3 twice in 24 starts. He throws strikes, plain and simple. If you can hit it, good for you. But for the vast majority of his opponents, the story is usually different. As he matures and grows stronger, he’s going to be even more effective and as long as his health holds up, he’ll be making a appearance in TB at some point in 2017.
What is there not to like about Honeywell? Nothing. He has outstanding potential, he has the mentality of a winner, and his makeup helps put his overall package well-above others. To contain our excitement, we pointed out the pause in his delivery which can lead to many stolen bases. However, with the number of batters who get on base, it’s easy to remain excited.
Next: Tampa Bay Rays Top 50 Prospects List: 2016 Pre-Season
Should Honeywell ever have a serious hiccup in his progress, it’s easy to see him as a closer. However, we don’t see that option as being a necessary one since we entirely expect him to make good on his potential and be an important part of the Rays rotation for years.