Rays Prospects

Tampa Bay Rays: Post-Draft Pitching Prospect Rankings

By Seth Carter
Brendan McKay of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Brendan McKay of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Tampa Bay Rays
Shane McClanahan #62 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays – Joe Ryan

A seventh-round pick in 2018, he outdid McClanahan in 2019 as he also made his way to Double-A in his first full season, but he walked away with the Rays’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year Awards. He finished with a 1.96 ERA last season while striking out 183 batters in just 123.2 innings.

Ryan cracked Baseball America’s top 100 in 2020 in response to his phenomenal 2019.

Here’s how he grades out:

  • Fastball: 60
  • Curveball: 50
  • Changeup: 45
  • Slider: 55
  • Cutter: 50
  • Control: 55
  • Overall: 50

Tampa Bay Rays – Nick Bitsko

We all know about his physical development and his power at this point. It’s impressive that he’s developed so quickly, but will he continue to progress? Let’s take a look at how he grades out right now.

  • Fastball: 60
  • Changeup: 50
  • Curveball: 60
  • Control 55
  • Overall: 55

These numbers are absolutely insane for a kid who has never even pitched as a high school sophomore. Scouts are saying he owns a plus fastball, plus curveball, and above-average control compared to major leaguers. Basically, scouts think he could be a functional pitcher in the big leagues despite never pitching beyond the 10th grade in high school. I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around this.

Based on scouts ratings, grades, and projections, here is our Rays Colored Glasses revised pitching prospect rankings.

Tampa Bay Rays – Revised Pitching Rankings

  1. Brendan McKay (60) – McKay has the lethal combination of stuff and control that makes him the easy choice as the top pitching prospect.
  2. Shane Baz – 55 overall with the highest rated fastball in the system. If he continues to make progress with his control, the sky is the limit for Baz.
  3. Nick Bitsko – To be 17 and have no grades below major-league average sets the bar pretty high for the future. He doesn’t have the arsenal or track record that Honeywell has and they both grade out as an overall 55. We put Bitsko ahead of Honeywell just because of the upside and Honeywell’s injury history.
  4. Brent Honeywell – I feel terrible for Honeywell. I hope he can bounce back from all of these injuries. Bitsko may not have pitched past his sophomore year in high school but Honeywell hasn’t pitched since the 2017 season and probably won’t see game action until 2021.
  5. Shane McClanahan
  6. Joe Ryan

dark. Next. How the Rays are the Spock of the MLB Draft

Where would you rate Bitsko? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts.

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