Rays 2016 Top 50 Prospects: Number 3, Jake Bauers

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.

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 …

#3: Jakob Christopher Bauers, 1B, 20 years old

  • Bats: Left  Ht/Wt:  6’1″ / 195 lbs
  • Drafted: by SD in the 7th rd of the 2013 MLB draft
  • Signed: for $240,000 by Josh Emmerick
  • Acquired: by the Rays along with Rene Rivera and Burch Smith
  • 2015 Affiliate: Montgomery, AA
  • Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2017+

Bauers’ 2015 Stats

YearAgeLevPAH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS
201317Rk18846821251431.282.341.374.715
201418A4671201838645180.296.376.414.789
201519AA-A+53412932211745074.272.342.418.760
201519A+249581426382933.267.357.433.791
201519AA285711805362141.276.329.405.733
201519Fal76172128914.254.342.403.745
Minors (3 seasons)Minors118929558720163115185.283.355.409.764
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/3/2016.

Bauers’ 2015 Fielding Stats

YearAgeLevGInnChPOAEDPFld%RF/9RF/G
201317Rk43360.238935331524.9879.588.93
201418A103897.0945871621262.9879.369.06
201519AA-A+113977.2977927401081.9908.908.56
Minors (3 seasons)Minors2592235.12311215113327167.9889.208.82
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/3/2016.

Bauers’ 2015 Splits

SplitPA2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPS
Total53432211745074.272.342.418.760
Last 90 days11070212519.265.294.392.686
vs RHP as LHB4042308563552.272.334.401.735
vs LHP as LHB130923181522.273.367.473.840
April80313131412.262.400.477.877
May10781216917.278.336.443.780
June8330212710.230.301.351.653
July115801171111.347.412.455.868
August12790214921.243.294.374.668
September22101203.227.227.409.636
2 outs, RISP109612231311.271.358.417.774
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/3/2016.

Player Facts

  • Follow him on Twitter: @JakeBauers11
  • His Twitter page states: Tampa Bay Rays | Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing
  • Played most of his youth baseball in the Huntington Beach, California area and was often able to make the news, as with this article after a 2 HR effort
  • Had committed to the University of Hawaii before signing with the Padres
  • Always noted for his ability to perform in the most stressful situations
  • Never faced a pitcher younger than him in all of 2015
  • Made the 2015 FSL all-star game and was named MVP
  • Ranked 18th in MLB within the KATOH rankings made up by Fangraphs, representing the value of prospects through age 28
  • Struck out less than 15% of the time in both HiA and AA, showing great plate discipline
  • Maintained a .166 ISO in HiA and .128 ISO in AA
  • Despite being only 19 years old in AA, he was able to achieve a 105 +wRC

Has a good humoured relationship with Casey Gillaspie, as indicated by this Tweet and his response below:

Best Tools & Abilities

  • Hitting ability beyond his years
  • Defensive ability
  • Grades: Hit 20/55, Raw Power 45/45+, Speed 35/35, Field 45/50+, Throws 50/50

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Our Thoughts

Most people who have covered or scouted Jake Bauers will talk about his quick bat and ability to make contact. They may touch on some pull power, but generally, everyone’s been waiting for it to come through for a few years now. While he’s been hitting the gaps at a decent rate, he still needs to display more power to be considered a regular 1B in MLB. Thankfully, his hitting ability and strength project to give him at least average power, and we should see it come through in 2016.

One interesting part of 2015 was that Bauers was asked to play LF in the AFL and did a fairly decent job, increasing his chances of making the team either as a 1B or LF. Playing LF would also lower the pressure on the bat, and although it’s important for him to get enough playing time when he makes it to The Show, starting off as a 1B and LF replacement isn’t too bad if it gets him the MLB experience he needs.

The fact that Bauers played half the season in AA at 19 years old is outstanding and indicates the faith the Rays have in his makeup and ability to handle AA pitchers and the pressure associated with making the leap from HiA to AA. That’s the main reason we have him so high on our list. We know what he’s achieved at such a young age, and we know the organization has enough faith in him to push him harder than most of their prospects.

Expectations

Rated as an average runner overall, he won’t cover an above-average amount of room in the OF but he’s more than adequate out there. And while he doesn’t have huge arm strength, he should be able to get the ball in quickly which will serve him well if he’s asked to play LF.

Should he play primarily 1B, he’s an above-average defender and can likely reach a high of 18 to 25 HR once all of his tools develop, making him a playable option as a full-time 1B.

With a full season of AA ball likely ahead of him, Bauers should be able to make some significant improvements in 2016. While many will be looking at the HR totals in order to assess his success, it’s his ISO and overall line that are likely to improve most. If he can prove that he projects as a doubles machine that can hit 15+ HR in an MLB season, you can expect to see him in TB at some point in 2017.

The Rays may of just acquired a few 1B that would seem, on the surface, to block his road to MLB, but both Steve Pearce and Logan Morrison are set to become free agents after this season, clearing the way for Gillaspie, Patrick Leonard, Richie Shaffer, and Bauers to battle for the 1B job.

Conclusion

The Rays have a knack of making trades that look ordinary on the surface but turn out to be steals later on. This deal with SD may turn out to be one if Bauers reaching his ceiling and Wil Myers continues to struggle to find his.

Bauers will kick off the 2016 season a young 20-year-old in AA with nothing but success behind him and a wealth of experience to draw on. With plenty of competition to drive him to reach new levels, Bauers should have the motivation required to keep working towards his dream. We wish him all of the best and look forward to seeing him improve in Montgomery.