The Tampa Bay Rays sent seven of their most promising prospects to Arizona this fall to compete in the Arizona Fall League. Here is an update on how they are doing.
The Tampa Bay Rays sent top prospects Vidal Brujan, Shane Baz, and Ronaldo Hernandez along with Josh Lowe, Drew Strotman, Alex Valverde, and Simon Rosenblum-Larson to get some extra work in with the Salt River Rafters.
When teams send players to the AFL, their hope is to accelerate their development, sometimes in an effort to help them jump a classification in their system. Teams, like the Rays, will also send players to the AFL who missed most if not all of the season due to injury. Such is the case with Drew Strotman, who returned late this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June of 2018.
For some of the game’s top prospects like Vidal Brujan and Shane Baz, the AFL provides a higher level of competition, one that the Rays hope they can compete at.
Every team in the league sends players of similar stature making the AFL an all-star league of sorts, displaying the future of the game on a nightly basis.
The Arizona Fall League proudly states just how star-studded their past has been on their website:
How good are the players in the Arizona Fall League? The 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland featured 43 AFL alums. Nearly 60 percent of all AFL players make a Major League roster, with an incredible 321 All-Stars, 19 MVPs, six Cy Young Award Winners, seven World Series MVPs, 99 Silver Sluggers, 88 Gold Gloves, and 30 Rookies of the Year.
With that in mind, the future for players like Brujan, Hernandez, Lowe, and Baz seems bright. Of the seven players sent by the Rays, four were pitchers, and five are Top-30 prospects in a loaded Rays’ system.
Here is a breakdown:
- Vidal Brujan, 2B, Rays #3 Prospect (MLB Pipeline)
- Shane Baz, RHP, Rays #6 Prospect
- Ronaldo Hernandez, C, Rays #7 Prospect
- Josh Lowe, CF, Rays #11 Prospect
- Drew Strotman, RHP, Rays #24 Prospect
- Simon Rosenblum-Larson, RHP
- Alex Valverde, RHP