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Tampa Bay Rays Prospect Ryan Boldt Making Progress

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Mar 29, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays hat, gloves, helmet and bats lay on the field before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays hat, gloves, helmet and bats lay on the field before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ryan Boldt may not be considered as one of the Tampa Bay Rays top prospects. However, if his performance to start 2017 is any indication, that could change quickly.

A second round draft choice out of Nebraska last year by the Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Boldt was not looked upon as a top prospect. He had been during his high school career, and was considered a possible top draft pick, until he tore his meniscus in his knee, costing him the season and his draft slot. However, he headed to Nebraska, where the Rays selected him in the second round, making him the highest drafted player from the school since Alex Gordon.

Unlike Gordon, who was expected to become an instant star, expectations were far more modest for Boldt. Ranked as the Rays 30th best prospect by MLB.com heading into the season, he was viewed as a possible fourth or fifth outfielder. They cited his ability to play all three outfield spots, and his raw tools as assets, but questions remained as to whether or not he could put everything together.

Given his struggles last season, that was a fair question. Boldt had a .210/.273/.263 batting line in Hudson Valley, with just six extra bases hits. In spite of his speed, Boldt was merely eight for 17 in stolen base attempts. It was a tough debut.

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This season, however, has been much different in the early going. Boldt has produced a solid .306/.366/.472 batting line heading into yesterday’s action. In just 41 plate appearances, he has four extra base hits. And, Boldt has been successful in both his stolen base attempts.

While he has been much better thus far, it was his performance on Tuesday that is going to garner attention. In three innings, Boldt had six RBI. He had an RBI double in the sixth, a grand slam in the seventh, and a run scoring single in the eighth as Charlotte picked up a 10-1 victory.

It may be one game, and the minor league season may only be starting, but this performance is certainly encouraging. Boldt has the potential to be more than a Major League bench piece, but he needs to continue his development. At this point, a full offseason working out, and having Spring Training under the watchful eye of the Rays minor league coaches appears to have done wonders.

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Ryan Boldt may have been overlooked to start the season, but that could change. If he continues to perform well, he could rocket up the Tampa Bay Rays prospect rankings by the end of the year.

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