As we speak, the Tampa Bay Rays have the best farm system in all of baseball. We are taking a look back at how the top five prospects from 2011 have turned out.
It’s a great time of year to look back on Tampa Bay Rays’ prospects of the past. Here are the top five prospects (according to MLB Pipeline) prior to the 2011 season.
It’s always intriguing to see how many players ended up a success and how many ended up fading out of our memories. We start with a former first-round draft pick.
5. Josh Sale
Major League Career: N/A
Major League rWAR: N/A
Josh Sale was drafted in the first round by the Rays in the 2010 Draft. MLB.com had him rated as their number five prospect heading into his first professional season at age nineteen. While he struggled in rookie ball, he posted a .855 OPS in 2012 at A-Bowling Green in 2012.
Sale would miss the following two seasons due to suspensions. In August of 2012, he was suspended 50 games for testing positive for methamphetamines.
The team then suspended him in May of 2013 for conduct detrimental to the team after he made a Facebook post about being thrown out of a strip club for throwing change at strippers.
At 22-years-old, and after missing the previous two seasons, the hope that he could still develop into a player worthy of a first-round pick had evaporated.
In August of that year, he would earn a second suspension for testing positive for a drug of abuse.
After the season, Sale saw his impressive streak of being suspended in three consecutive seasons come to an end as the Rays released him.
It’s an unfortunate journey for a talented player. Parallels were drawn between Sale and Josh Hamilton, but Sale never found his way back to a major league organization.