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Tampa Bay Rays 2019 Draft: Previewing the Rays’ first 5 selections

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ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - MAY 11: A general view after Yandy Diaz #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a 3-run homer off of Nestor Cortes Jr. #67 of the New York Yankees in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on May 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays won 7-2. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - MAY 11: A general view after Yandy Diaz #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a 3-run homer off of Nestor Cortes Jr. #67 of the New York Yankees in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on May 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays won 7-2. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
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SECAUCUS, NJ – JUNE 5: Mike Piazza representing the New York Mets and Tommy Lasorda representing the Los Angeles Dodgers during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ – JUNE 5: Mike Piazza representing the New York Mets and Tommy Lasorda representing the Los Angeles Dodgers during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Draft day is here and the Tampa Bay Rays have 5 of the first 100 selections. So, let’s break down who the Rays might take with each of their first 5 picks.

The Tampa Bay Rays will be busy early in the 2019 draft with picks 22, 36, 40, 61, and 99. Their handful of early picks come at a time in which they will be able to bolster one of the best farm systems in baseball with some strong selections.

The 2019 draft, however, is expected to be a little unpredictable due to an absence of great college arms. So, predicting who the Rays might select first at #22 is simply a guessing game. Here is who the experts have pegged the Rays to take first:

Mock Selections:

  • Baseball America: Michael Busch, OF/1B, North Carolina
  • The Athletic: Gunnar Henderson, SS, HS
  • MLB.com: Gunnar Henderson, SS, HS
  • 2080 Baseball: Daniel Espino, RHP, HS
  • FanGraphs: Keoni Cavaco, 3B, HS
  • Bleacher Report: Keoni Cavaco, 3B, HS
  • CBS: Keoni Cavaco, 3B, HS

As you can tell, there is really no consensus on the matter, nor should there be. Who knows who might fall to the Rays? Nobody. Might the Rays reach on a player? Maybe. Henderson, Busch, Cavaco, and Espino may all be gone come pick #22, and if that happens then your guess is as good as mine. They may all be available come pick #22, and if that is the case, your guess is still only as god as mine.  What we do know is that the draft starts tonight at 7pm on MLB Network.

So, based on MLB.com’s Top 200 Draft Prospect’s list, let’s take a look at some players who could be available at each of their selections that follow #22.

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