Heading into the season, the Tampa Bay Rays had four players listed amongst the top 100 prospects on MLB.com. At the halfway point, that number has increased a bit.
As we entered the 2017 campaign, there were several players in the Tampa Bay Rays farm system that were generating a fair bit of attention. Willy Adames was considered one of the top shortstop prospects, while Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon were amonst the top pitching prospects in the game. Jake Bauers was a bit of a surprise, but his impressive Spring Training, and incredible potential, put him solidly in that grouping.
Now that we have passed the halfway point in the season, the latest top 100 prospects list has come out on MLB.com. This time, the latest incarnation of the rankings has seven different Rays on the list, with Jacob Faria, Jesus Sanchez, and first round draft pick Brendan McKay making the cut.
It is understandable as to why Faria made the cut. Although he is likely to lose his rookie status this year, and fall off the list by the time that the end of the season comes around. However, his dominant start to his major league career, and performance at Durham, are certainly worthy of being on the list.
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Likewise, it is understandable that McKay would be on this list as well. One of the top, if not the top overall prospect in the draft, McKay is considered a possible star both on the mound and in the field. Although he has only played in the field thus far, the Rays are going to give him his chance on the mound. With the bat, however, McKay has been solid, posting a .259/.375/.370 batting line thus far.
Sanchez has been a revelation this season as well. A toolsy player with a great deal of potential, Sanchez has exploded this season, putting himself on the prospect map. Showing off the power that he was expected to possess, Sanchez has already hit 20 doubles and 11 homers. A promotion to Charlotte may well be in the works before the end of the season as well.
The biggest disappointment may well be De Leon. Injured for most of the season, he dropped 66 spots to barely remain in the top 100. Not only was De Leon bombed in his only major league appearance this season, but he has struggled with Durham as well. It has been a very disappointing first season for De Leon in the Rays system.
The future appears to be bright for the Tampa Bay Rays. As they have seven of the top 100 prospects in the game according to MLB.com, that opinion appears to be shared by others.