#4: Shane Baz, RHP, 19
A 2017 1st round pick, but not by the Rays. This young righty features electric stuff and comes to the Rays as a result of the Chris Archer trade.
Height/Weight: 6’3″ / 190
Drafted: | Signed: 1st, 2017 (12th) | $4,100,000
School: High School
Pitch Grades (Via FanGraphs):
FB velocity: 92-96, T-98
Baz came to the Rays by the way of the Chris Archer trade. He put the cherry on top for what was an absolute haul for Chris Archer. FanGraphs ranked Baz as the 10th best prospect in the Rays system and Baseball America ranked him as the Pirates 3rd best prospect prior to the 2018 season.
Off-speed: BA said this about Baz following his pro debut in 2017, “He’s working with both a slider and a curveball, and both have bite, depth and plus potential. Baz’s changeup isn’t quite as developed but shows late fade.”
Delivery: FanGraphs had this to say about his delivery, “Baz’s delivery is explosive but violent.” It is indeed explosive and you can absolutely see the Marcus Stroman comparison. Everything is hard and sharp.
2018 numbers with the Rays and Pirates Appalachian League affiliates:
4-5 // 12G/12GS // 52.1 IP // 4.47 ERA // 59K/29BB
Thoughts: I think the future is bright for Baz and I was very surprised when the PTBNL was a player of his caliber. He is young, so the lack of control doesn’t sound any alarms in my head just yet, but it goes without saying that he has some work to do. He has the stuff to develop into a middle to top of the rotation guy.