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Tampa Bay Rays Top Three Prospects To Watch

Tampa Bay Rays’ top three prospects all gained exposure to the big leagues last season. What does 2022 hold?

The Tampa Bay Rays farm system continues to produce a lot of homegrown talent. This has helped the Ray’s stay competitive in a small market and the salary cap era.

The Rays have had the number one farm system in baseball the last two years. This year is no different as the Rays have one of the top five farm systems in baseball. This despite Wander Franco being promoted to the big leagues last season and winning the American League Rookie of the Year.

Tampa Bay Rays’ top three prospects Shane Baz, Josh Lowe, and Vidal Brujan have all had some exposure to the big leagues last season.

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Shane Baz / P / ETA: 2022

Pitcher Shane Baz is the Ray’s number one prospect. He is also the number five prospect in all of Major League Baseball, according to Baseball America.

A September call-up in 2021, Baz stuck out 18 of the 49 batters he faced while walking just three.

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It was quite the year for Baz. He began 2021 at AA Montgomery and ended the season with a start in the ALDS against Boston. Sandwiched in-between was a stint with the USA Olympic baseball team where he helped the US win Gold.

Baz has four pitches that he can throw in any situation for strikes. His fastball is consistently in the mid-’90s, and he will sometimes get close to 100 MPH.

Baz will also throw a slider, curveball, and a changeup, which he does not use often enough. After dazzling hitters in AA and AAA with 13 walks and 113 strikeouts last season, Baz is expected to secure a spot in the Rays rotation this season and could be the number one starter by mid-season.

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USA Today - Shane Baz
USA Today

Josh Lowe / OF / ETA: 2022

Lowe was the number one pick of the Rays in 2016. He has quietly worked his way through the Rays farm system culminating with a couple of stints in Tampa with the big league club in 2021.

Lowe had his best season in 2021 with career bests in homers, walks, doubles, and slugging percentage. Lowe was also an incredible 27 for 27 in stolen bases.

With centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier having his name mentioned in trade talks with different teams, the Rays may finally pull that trigger with Lowe ready to step in and play on an everyday basis.

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Lowe is excellent defensively and can be a consistent 20/20 player. This will be the year that Josh Lowe becomes a permanent fixture in center field for the Tampa Bay Rays.

USA Today - Josh Lowe
USA Today

Vidal Brujan / 2B / ETA: 2022

Vidal Brujan played in ten games for the Rays last season and struggled offensively, getting just two hits in 26 at-bats.

However, Brujan has excellent speed. He has stolen 118 bases since 2018, which leads all minor leaguers during that span.

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Brujan makes good contact as he has never stuck out more than 70 times in a season. Brujan is almost sure to make the Tampa Bay Rays roster out of training camp as a utility infielder.

The Rays love their players to be versatile and play more than one position. The Rays played Brujan in center field and second base last season. He was solid at both positions. The only positions that Brujan has not played are pitcher, catcher, and first base.

There is talk the Rays could move Brujan to shortstop and move AL Rookie of the Year Wander Franco to third to get Brujan in the lineup every day.

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Last season, the Rays had five rookies on the big league roster while the team won 100 games and were the AL East champions. Second basemen Xavier Edwards, pitcher Taj Bradley, and third basemen Curtis Mead should be the next crop of rookies to make their debut in Tampa sometime in 2022.

The future continues to shine bright for the Tampa Bay Rays.

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