|Original Published Date: April 21, 2014|
|Updated: June 9, 2014|
Many publications had the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series prior to the 2014 season. However, injuries have hit the team hard and the are reeling. It seems impossible that a team with a starting rotation of David Price, Alex Cobb, and Chris Archer can’t make the playoffs, but that appears what will happen. In fact, the Rays might be sellers at the trade deadline with David Price and Ben Zobrist likely destined for a new team.
1. Next in Line Infield Prospects
- Hak-Ju Lee (SS, Injured) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
- Ryan Brett (SS/2B, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Richie Shaffer (3B1B, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
Notes: Hak-Ju Lee looked like he would be a significant contributor last year but a nasty take out slide in April cost him the season and he has yet to take the field in 2014. He might not ever be the same player he was before the injury but if he is, there is plus defensive ability with plus speed and the ability to make hard contact. Fantasy owners should continue to monitor. Ryan Brett has a chance to see Tampa this year but is only starting the year in Double-A. He’s a nice defender, has some speed and makes hard gap contact. Richie Shaffer was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft and has a nice overall offensive package with the ability to make contact with plus power. There is swing and miss in his game but he could be an interesting second half add for the Rays if they need an offensive lift. He’s off to a good start in 2014 having already hit four home runs in 50 at-bats in Double-A.
2. Next in Line Outfield Prospects
- Jerry Sands (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Mikie Mahtook (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
Notes: Dynasty League owners have had first round draft pick Mikie Mahtook on their rosters for the past three years hoping that stardom would come. It’s not as Mahtook doesn’t have a carrying tool but should be a serviceable major leaguer as a fourth outfielder. If he gets the call, he’ll make good contact and have the ability to steal some bases.
3. Next in Line Pitching Prospects
- Nate Karns (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
- Mike Montgomery (LHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Enny Romero (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Matt Andriese (RHP, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
Notes: The Rays have several potentially impact arms in their upper-minors. At the top of list is former Nats farm hand Nate Karns. He has good stuff with nice pitchability and settled down after two rough starts to begin the year. He could be in Tampa as early as late April and should be monitored by all fantasy owners. Mike Montgomery has been a prospect for years and is nearly ready for the show. He profiles as a back-of-the-rotation pitcher primarily because he can’t throw consistent strikes. If he ever can, he could be a fantasy contributor. Enny Romero has the highest upside of the lot with a fastball that he can run up into the mid-90’s and a plus curve ball. The problem is he’s a max-effort guy that loses his release point and becomes wild. If he can harness the mechanics, he’ll have significant fantasy upside.
4. Next in Line Relief Prospects
- Jeff Beliveau (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low