The Tampa Bay Rays selected 17-year-old phenom Nick Bitsko with the first pick on Wednesday night. Where does he fit into their stacked prospect list?
The Tampa Bay Rays separated their farm system from the pack on Wednesday. They came into the draft as the top organization in the league and walked out impressing everyone with their savvy.
Fans and analysts may have questioned the Boston Red Sox when they reached deep down the rankings to select Nick Yorke with the 17th selection, but they tend not to question the Rays. The only line of optimistic logic for the Red Sox taking Fangraphs’ 165th ranked player that early was “Chaim Bloom came from the Rays so, this will probably work.”
So, the Rays did what other teams only wished they had the courage to do. They took next year’s number one draft pick this year. Nick Bitsko is a soon-to-be 18-year-old who is already 6-4, 225 pounds and can hit 98.5 mph on the radar gun. Scouts already rate his fastball and slider as above major-league average pitches. He’s 17-years-old folks!
Maybe I’m being too upbeat, but I think his upside is Cy Young. Not in an old-timey, rocking chair wind up, throw 700 innings and strike out 23 batters “Cy Young.” Like the best pitcher in the league compared to his peers in modern times.
That’s just a best-case scenario. Let’s see where he ranks within the Rays pitching-rich farm system right now.
We are going to take a look at the current rankings and at the end, we’ll tell you where Nick Bitsko slots into this fantastic herd of hurlers.
According to MLB.com here are the top five pitchers in the system. All five of them are in the Rays top ten prospects right now.
- Brendan McKay, LHP
- Shane Baz, RHP
- Brent Honeywell, RHP
- Shane McClanahan, LHP
- Joe Ryan, RHP