The Rays’ System had an overwhelming amount of prospects break out in 2017. On the other hand, there were prospects not touted as future stars but whose stock did rise in 2017.
The Rays‘ System had an overwhelming amount of prospects break out in 2017. Players such as Jesus Sanchez and Brent Honeywell saw their stocks as top 50 prospects rise over the summer. But this list is for the prospects that were not touted as future stars but have seen their stock rise as future contributors.
Travis Ott– Coming over as a piece in the Steven Souza deal, Travis Ott has seen a huge jump in production in the Rays’ System. Ott followed up on a brilliant 2016 season with 118 dominant innings across two levels.
The 6’4″ lefty struck out 132 in 27 appearances for Bowling Green and Charlotte. His 2.09 ERA at High-A led the Stone Crabs (minimum 75 innings) and his strikeout total was top five across all levels. Ott should be a top 30 prospect for the Rays at the beginning of next year.
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Justin Williams– Another prospect that was included in a deal in 2014, Williams made good use of his second year in Double-A. For some unknown reason, Williams was never ranked as a top prospect after being selected in the second round of the 2013 Draft.
Williams hit .301 and had his highest OPS in his full-season career. He also struck out 69 times in 366 at-bats. If the Rays elect to make a trade this off-season, Williams will be a name that pops up as part of the return.
Michael Brosseau– Very rarely does an undrafted free agent have an immediate impact like Brosseau. The Oakland Community College-product was a GCL All-Star in 2016 and was promoted up to High-A in 2017.
In only 80 games with Low-A Bowling Green, Brosseau slashed .318 with a .393 OBP. Brosseau continued to hit well in High-A and will most likely return to Charlotte in 2017. As a UDFA, Brosseau flew under the radar and onto the minds of scouts across the system.
Ryne Stanek– Drafted as a starter, Stanek has moved to the bullpen and thrived. In 37 games for Durham, Stanek posted a 0.94 WHIP and struck out 60 in 44.2 innings. Stanek dominated the minors and earned a promotion to the Rays in 2017.
While he struggled to adjust, Stanek’s confidence out of the bullpen could help his value in 2018. Many former starters land in the pen and find some extra velocity or an increase in command. It appears that Stanek may have found his niche on the mound.
Brandon Lowe– Perhaps the biggest breakout (outside of Jesus Sanchez) was Brandon Lowe. The second base prospect struggled in 2016 for Bowling Green, but found new life in High-A in 2017.
Lowe is a heavy contact hitter from Maryland. 2017 was the year he adjusted to professional pitchers. Lowe hit .311 in the FSL (.408 OBP) with nine home runs and 46 home runs. Lowe is currently in Arizona Fall League.