The Ways of the Rays: Why trading Tommy Pham was a smart move

By Seth Carter
Tommy Pham (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tommy Pham (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Tampa Bay Rays
Xavier Edwards (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

What we got – Xavier Edwards, 19

The Tampa Bay Rays have the top farm system in all the land and they just added another piece to the stockpile.

Xavier Edwards is only 19-years-old and played in Rookie-level Arizona League and ended in Low-A Tri-City. He slashed .322/.375/.396 in his second professional season. For good measure, he tacked on 34 stolen bases. He doesn’t have much home run power, but he was strong enough to blast 18 doubles and eight triples.

Over two seasons in the minors, Edwards has slashed .328/.395/.399 with 56 steals in 168 games. grades him at a 55 overall player. His greatest tool is his speed with a 70 rating. His glove gets a 60 and hitting gets a 55. He’s a very promising player, a potential leadoff hitter for years to come. Edwards’ combination of speed and on-base skills could translate to a lot of runs. Remember, the kid is only 19-years-old,  expect a little power development by the time he reaches the big leagues.

Edwards is a switch-hitter who uses the entire field. Even at 19, he has shown excellent defensive skills at second base with a solid enough arm to slot him in at shortstop without worries.

Tampa Bay Rays
Jake Cronenworth (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

What we gave up – Jake Cronenworth, 25

Cronenworth served as the Michigan Wolverines’ best hitter and their closer. He earned the MVP honors of the 2015 Big Ten Tournament with a .389 average and saving four games. has him graded at an overall 45 hitter and a 45 pitcher.

He has always been a solid hitter throughout the minors, but last year his power began to emerge. in 2019, Cronenworth had 10 HRs and 26 2Bs. In 88 games in AAA-Durham, he slashed .334/.429/.520 for the Bulls.

Cronenworth’s fastball reaches 95-96 mph. He complements the fastball with a dizzying curveball and plus-cutter. He is a legitimate two-way player with skills that should translate as a useful hitter and pitcher at the Major League level.