Five Rays Prospects that Could Make an Impact in 2022

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1. Josh Lowe

Josh Lowe
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Probably the player most familiar to fans on this list, Josh Lowe's skillset includes an intriguing blend of power and speed. He struggled in his first look in majors earlier this season putting up a paltry .188/.257/.344 slash line that amounted to a below average 83 OPS+. Since being sent back to Triple-A Durham he has looked strong slashing .276/.339/.586 across 65 plate appearances. He's still striking out at a 43% clip in Durham (38% this season with Tampa) and that looks to be the main area Lowe can improve on. Regardless Lowe has 25+ home run and stolen base potential.

While the fans and organization are excited about the offensive upside, Lowe also brings good range in the outfield and a strong throwing arm that keeps base runners in check. That should buy him some time with the big league club even if his bat doesn't come around right away.

There is little doubt Lowe has the potential to be a superstar in the league. With the combination of offensive tools and defensive prowess, Lowe could be the next young Rays player to make a name for himself in the postseason.

2. Jonathan Aranda

Jonathan Aranda
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After a breakout season in Double-A that earned him the South League’s MVP last year, Jonathan Aranda has done nothing but hit upon his Triple-A debut this season. He currently sports a .329 average, 10 doubles, 4 HR, and 25 RBI through his first 167 plate appearances. 

At 6'0 210 pounds, Aranda profiles mostly a line drive hitter. notes that Aranda adjusted his swing path which has led to him putting the ball in the air more. Even so, he still projects as a below average power hitter that can put the ball in the gaps. 

The 23 year old left handed swinger has played mostly second base in his minor league career, but projects as a first baseman in the future. With Ji-Man Choi struggling as of late, Aranda could find himself in the lineup sooner rather than later. He might just be the guy to provide a spark for a Rays lineup who is hitting .236 as a whole so far this year. 

3. Taj Bradley

The Rays number 3 prospect and 71 overall, Taj Bradley has been nothing short of dominant in Double-A through his first 7 starts. The 6-2 righty currently owns a 2.61 ERA 36 K and 7 BB in 31 innings. explains his pitching arsenal:

""[fastball] sat comfortably in the mid-90s and touched higher than that at times. His upper-80s slider features tough, late break, and the Rays have preached to him how well they like it playing off the heater. He still possesses a 12-to-6 curveball that has taken more of a backseat to the slider, and his changeup shows promise as a third/fourth pitch depending on the day.""

Taj Bradley has done nothing but improve every year in the minors and don’t be surprised if you see the 21 year old make his major league debut by the end of the year. With the uptick in velocity Bradley could be an option in the bullpen down the stretch if the Rays want to limit his innings, although I believe they most likely would use him in the rotation once he gets the call to Tampa.

4. Ian Seymour

Seymour, 23, is a left handed pitcher that dominated in the minors last season. He started the 2021 season with Low-A Charleston and worked all the way up to Triple-A where he made two starts without giving up a run over 10 innings. He was assigned to Double-A to start the year, a level he skipped last season. 

He has struggled with command so far this season resulting in a 14.8 BB% and 2.04 WHIP in his first 16.2 innings. On the positive side, he does have an encouraging 28.4 K%. Jake Wiener of explains Seymour's' arsenal: "mid-90s 4 seam fastball, changeup, and sweeping slider." The Rays hope he can be a starter in the future, but his current role for the 2022 team looks to be a reliever with multi inning potential.

5. Greg Jones

Greg Jones is an exciting player who oozes with potential. One of the fastest players in all of the minor leagues, Jones combines that with 20+ homer potential. He does come with his concerns, as his hit tool has been called into question. Jones is known to chase pitches out of the strike zone and last season he struck out in 30% of his plate appearances. Starting the 2022 season off at Double-A Montgomery, his K% is up to 34 so far, while his average is sitting at just .210. 

On the defensive side, notes that Jones has improved at shortstop even looking like he stay at the position long term. With that said, the Rays have Wander Franco and Brandon Lowe locked in as the everyday SS and 2B. Jones has some experience in centerfield as well which would help get him on the field. Due to his versatility, he looks like he will be utilized in a utility role at the MLB level.  

Even if Jones is unable improve his hit tool, expect to see him at the major league level some point this season. At 24 years old with elite speed, Jones at minimum is likely to get called up and utilized as a pinch runner (with potential for much more) down the stretch for a Rays ball club that is competing for the postseason.

Next. Brandon Lowe Placed on IL, Could Miss a Month. dark