As we approach the 2019 Major League Baseball draft, let’s take a look back at the Tampa Bay Rays 2018 draft.
The draft has, at times, been an ominous and troubling time for the Tampa Bay Rays. The ’07 and ’08 drafts provided Rays fans with two of the greatest Rays players ever in Evan Longoria and David Price. But, in drafts before and after the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the Rays were less fortunate in their selections.
The 2011 draft was the most disappointing draft in which they had 10 of the first 60 picks and only came away with Blake Snell to show for it. The only other player to make it to the Majors in a Rays uniform was Mikie Mahtook, who only appeared in 106 games across 2 seasons.
Since the 2011 draft, the Rays have had 3 former first round selections make their major league debuts in a Rays uniform (Richie Shaffer, Nick Ciuffo, and Ryne Stanek). The only player of the three to make any significant impact at the Major League level though, would be Ryne Stanek.
More recently though, many have felt that the tides have turned in favor of the Rays’ scouting department in terms of draft selections. In 2017, they selected Brendan McKay 4th overall. McKay, now at Triple-A is only a matter of starts away from an extended stay with the big league club. Just last year, the Rays selected Matthew Liberatore with the 16th overall pick, Shane McClanahan with the 31st overall pick, and Nick Schnell with the 32nd pick.
In 2018, the Rays signed 35 of their 43 selections, 20 of those signees were pitchers. The following slides will break down the draft into 4 sections, each covering 10 rounds. We will breakdown the demographic of the players chosen, while also identifying the best player selected and the most interesting player to watch going forward from each group.
First up, rounds 1-10: