Tampa Bay Rays Top 15 Prospects For 2024

Headlined by consensus top prospect Junior Caminero, the Rays' excellence on the farm seems to heading absolutely nowhere.

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 1: Junior Caminero #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays takes celebrates his home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on October 1, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Rays have been the gold standard in player identification and development for the better part of the last decade. The Rays’ front office has produced lead executives galore, including Andrew Friedman of the Dodgers, former Red Sox executive Chaim Bloom, and current Marlins President of Baseball Operations Peter Bendix. Erik Neander has stayed the course, producing a perennial contender at the major league level while also competing for championships at each level in Minor League Baseball year-after-year.

The current crop of Tampa Bay farmhands is nothing to scoff at, headlined by a consensus top five prospect in all of baseball in Junior Caminero. With several others lining Just Baseball’s Top 100 Prospects, the Rays seem primed to keep the conveyor belt of controllable talent moving.

1. Junior Caminero – 3B – (MLB)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 215 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: 2019 (CLE) | ETA: 2024


Acquired from Cleveland for pitcher Tobias Myers as the Rays fought a roster crunch ahead of the 40-man deadline, the Rays identified Caminero before he had even recorded an at-bat outside of the complex. Caminero has matured quickly, looking like one of the better power-hitting prospects in baseball. He has perennial All Star upside.

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Caminero uses a big leg kick and barrel tip in his load, but his athleticism in the box and elite bat speed help him be on time despite the louder moves. A physical build for a 20-year-old, Caminero is already putting up elite exit velocities with a 90th percentile exit velocity of 111 MPH and max exit velocity of 114 MPH. His 90th percentile exit velocity would rank in the top five among qualified MLB hitters.

His whippy bat speed and decent feel for the barrel help Caminero keep the whiff in check, and with better swing decisions he could be an average or better hitter. There’s a chance that Caminero’s pre-swing moves will be more difficult to time up against more advanced pitching, but he has already toned down his barrel tip and load as he has racked up more at-bats at the upper levels.

There’s no doubting the top-of-the-scale raw power he possesses in the exit velocity department, but he will need to drive the ball in the air more consistently to tap into more game power. 1 of 5 batted balls that qualify as a fly ball for Caminero leave the yard (20% HR/FB rate), which is a sustainably strong figure given how hard he hits the ball; if he cuts his 50% ground ball rate, he easily has 30+ homer upside.


Though Caminero is not the most rangy, he has a big arm and decent hands that help him get by at the hot corner. He struggles at times with his throwing accuracy, but he can also make throws deep in the hole or across his body that others can’t. With more reps and perhaps cleaning up his throwing motion a bit, Caminero has a chance to develop into an average defender at third. An average runner, he is not much of a base stealer, but far from a negative on the base paths.


It’s easy to see the power hitting third base profile for Caminero, and his decent chance of avoiding a move to first helps. While free-swinging, power hitting teenagers are extremely risky by nature, Caminero’s surprisingly decent contact rates and ability to perform at a high level as a 19/20-year-old in Double-A quells much of that concern.

2023 is Caminero’s first full season above the rookie level and his chase rates have dropped as he has compiled more at-bats. There’s a chance for elite power and enough feel to hit to get into it consistently.

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2. Carson Williams – SS – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 180 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (28), 2021 (TB) | ETA: 2025


Williams has put his big tools on display since being drafted first round in 2021, giving Rays fans plenty to look forward to. He will need to cut down in the whiffs to reach his All-Star ceiling, though.

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Still with a wiry frame and room to fill out, Williams turned heads with his plus exit velocities as a 19-year-old in Low-A as well as his ability tap into game power.

Already reaching exit velocities as high as 112 MPH along with an impressive 90th percentile exit velocity of 107 MPH, it’s easy to see the plus power projection for Williams with even more pop in the tank.

Williams starts with an upright stance and relies on his natural bat speed and athleticism to produce thump, but his lack of lower half involvement leaves power on the table for him. You’ll see Williams often finish even his swing more upright than he started, which is a bit of a tell. His bat path is geared for lift, helping him produce plenty of home runs and extra base hits, but also leaving him susceptible to higher whiff figures. Williams hedges the whiff with a good approach and low chase rates.

The fact that Williams was able to consistently produce the way he did even with the swing deficiencies is a testament his wiry strength and natural athleticism. His inconsistent base and steep swing likely contributed to more struggles against offspeed than he would like, but he has improved in that regard. Williams has handled velocity extremely well, mashing to an OPS right around 1.000 against fastballs.

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With some tweaks, Williams could not only tap into plus or better power, but would likely find more success and consistency against breaking stuff as well. Even if the hit tool is fringy, his plus power and patient approach give him the ability to be a productive bat. He has 30 homers in the tank if he hits enough.


Williams is an above average runner with an easy plus arm. His actions are smooth and his feet are quick. He has the tendency to sit back on balls at times and rely on his arm strength, but he has plenty of range and a good internal clock. Williams has the goods to not only stick at short, but also be a plus defender there.

While he is not a burner, Williams is fast enough to be a factor on the base paths. He is relatively aggressive, but an inefficient base stealer. As he reaches the higher levels, Williams should be a threat for 10-15 bags.


A plus defender a shortstop with big power potential is easy to get excited about. Williams will need to improve upon his ability to hit and recognize spin to reach his ceiling, but 30 home run upside with impact defense at short does not grow on trees. A high strikeout rate may just come with the territory, but Nolan Gorman-type production with plus defense on the left side of the infield is a profile any team in baseball would sign up for.

3. Curtis Mead – 3B/2B – (MLB)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 175 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $200K – 2018 (PHI) | ETA: 2024


A bat-first infielder with a great feel to hit and strong exit velocities, Mead missed a large chunk of the 2023 season due to injury, but made up for lost time by putting up big numbers in Durham immediately upon his return.

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Formerly starting from an extremely upright setup, Mead is still relatively tall in his stance but is more bent at the knees. Mead has always featured a smooth swing with a lower half that works extremely well.

The result is a barrel path that lives in the zone for a long time and allows him to drive balls to all fields with relative ease. Mead has already flashed plus exit velocities, with a 90th percentile exit velocity of 106 MPH and max exit velocity of 111 MPH.

A doubles machine due to his all-fields approach and swing that is geared for hard line drives, Mead smacked 94 doubles through his first 275 pro games across every level. Mead’s body control and bat-to-ball skills combined with his strong EVs should result in a high batting average and plenty of extra base hits even if the game power is closer to average.

A patient hitter who consistently makes good swing decisions, Mead’s ability to get on base should also help keep him strong in the OPS department. He has punched out less than 16% of the time in his Minor League career.


While not especially flashy or athletic, Mead’s hands and instincts should make him a passable defender at either third or second base. Mead’s below average arm is stretched thin at third base, though he has worked hard to gain arm strength and has held his own at the position.

Mead has improved his footwork at both third base and second base, providing belief that he can fight off a move to first and be somewhat of a versatile infielder for the Rays, even if the defense isn’t particularly great.

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Mead’s advanced approach and swing give him a chance at becoming a plus hitter at the highest level with 15-20 homers, plenty of doubles and a knack for getting on base.

Though he has the offensive skill-set of an above average regular, the right-handed hitter has dismantled lefties as a pro and has a strong floor as a platoon bat who can move all over the infield. Mead has provided plenty of reason to believe he can be more than that.

4. Xavier Isaac – 1B – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 240 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (29), 2022 (TB) | ETA: 2025


A big, left handed power bat with a good feel for the barrel, Isaac has the potential to be an offensive force.

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Starting slightly open with his weight slightly favoring his back side, Isaac uses an early and slow load to get himself into a powerful launch position. He already uses his lower half and controls his body exceptionally for a 6-foot-4 teenager.

Not only does his advanced feel for his body help him consistently get powerful swings off, but when he is a bit out front or fooled, his “B” swings pack a punch as well. Isaac has displayed the ability to uncork 113 MPH home runs to his pull side, as well as shoot a ball the other way for a base hit.

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With a 90th percentile exit velocity of 108 MPH, Isaac already produces plus plus exit velocities with room for more. His patient approach (22% chase) has helped him walk at a 15% clip providing optimism that he can sustain his high on base percentages as he pushes towards more challenges levels.

The potential for an above average feed to hit with big time power to all fields, Isaac has the offensive potential to be a middle-of-the-order masher for a first division team.


Probably a better athlete than he gets credit for, Isaac is a shaky defender at first base, but does have the natural ability to develop into an average defender. He moves his feet pretty well for his size, swiping 12 bags on 12 tries in 2023.


Isaac has the potential to develop into a middle-of-the-order masher at the highest level. Not only does he posses as much power potential as just about any prospect in baseball, but he boasts a natural feel to hit that most players his size lack. Isaac’s stock should continue to fly with plenty of similarities to Triston Casas.

5. Dominic Keegan – C – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 4th Round (134), 2022 (TB) | ETA: 2025


A bat-first catcher, Keegan has made strides behind the dish while living up to expectations offensively.

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Starting with his hands just below his chest, Keegan pulls his hands back and up to his slot along with a toe tap for timing. Right as he loads his hands, Keegan coils inward, storing energy in his back side. He is able to generate plus exit velocities with almost no stride thanks to his strength how well he engages his lower half. His contact rates are above average, as is his feel for the strike zone.

Keegan generates a lot of rotational torque, but sometimes can unravel prematurely, resulting in rollovers. He closed his stance of some in the Arizona Fall League likely to combat the premature/over-rotating. He is quick and efficient enough to still turn around hard stuff inside with a slightly closed stance.

In order to convert his plus raw pop into more game power, Keegan will need to elevate more consistently, especially on fastballs where his hard hit launch angle of 12 degrees launch angle is a bit below desired.

A good feel to hit and plus exit velocities should help Keegan post an above average BABIP if he is not able to leverage his pop more effectively. Even if the game power is just average, his ability to draw free passes and solid contact rates could make him an above average bat. If Keegan is able to elevate more, there’s 20+ home runs in there.


After hardly receiving consistent reps behind the dish at Vanderbilt, Keegan has come a long way defensively since being drafted by the Rays as the org has allowed him to primarily catch. He has made the largest strides in the receiving department, where he now grades as above average. Blocking wise, he is just about average.

Though he threw out 30% of base stealers in 2023, his arm is below average, adding emphasis to the quickness of his exchange. His improvements both receiving and blocking wise have aided his defensive outlook significantly behind the dish even despite some anticipated challenges limiting the running game.

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Keegan has a strong track record of hitting dating back to his second season at Vanderbilt and did not blink upon entering pro ball despite diving head first into catching full time. Once viewed as a candidate to move off of the position, Keegan looks like he can be a passable defensive catcher with above average offensive upside for the position.

If it all clicks, he can blend at least an average hit tool with around 20 home runs, but even if he doesn’t realize all of his power, he could still be an above average bat who hits plenty of doubles and gets on base.

6. Brayden Taylor – 3B/2B – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 190 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (19), 2023 (TB) | ETA: 2026


A hit-over-power prospect for much of his collegiate career, Taylor mashed 23 home runs as a junior at TCU, catapulting him into the middle of the first round. He’ll need to prove that the uptick in power is sustainable with wood, but there’s plenty to like with the bat.


Starting with his hands rested just above his shoulder, Taylor utilizes a medium-sized leg kick and does not pull his hands back into his slot until his front leg reaches its peak. While this move could cause some hitters to be out of sync with their upper half and lower half, Taylor remains well-connected.

The pull backwards with his hands right before his leg comes back down may be in an effort to keep his weight back, providing a negative move. It’s hard to argue against the results as he rarely swings off of his front foot and consistently drives the ball in the air (34% ground ball rate). He could feel a bit more rushed against more challenging arms, which could necessitate some more simplicity in the box, but until then, it’s difficult to poke a hole in his moves.

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Consistently driving the ball in the air with back spin has helped Taylor maximize his average exit velocities (and even below average in his first two collegiate seasons). He saw his exit velocities jump a couple ticks in his junior season and there’s more room for strength in his frame, providing optimism for at least average power. Taylor is an extremely patient hitter who walked more than he struck out in his three years at TCU as well as on the Cape.


Taylor predominantly played third base both as an amateur and in his pro debut where his average arm and decent range play well enough to be an average defender. He could project as an above average second baseman as well. At least an average runner, Taylor is extremely savvy on the base paths, going 39 for 40 on stolen base attempts in college before a perfect 14 for 14 in his pro debut.


While nothing jumps out when you look at Taylor’s profile, he has the potential for 50s across the board when it comes to his tools and at least some projection physically. His offensive profile probably fits best at second base, where his defense would likely be better as well. Regardless, he should be capable of playing multiple infield spots with the ability to get on base at a strong clip and mix in 15 homers or more if he adds strength.

7. Colton Ledbetter – OF – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 205 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (55), 2023 (TB) | ETA: 2026


A well-rounded outfielder, Ledbetter transferred from Samford to Mississippi State for his junior season and had no problem getting acclimated to the SEC. He swung it well with wood in summer-collegiate leagues and showed well in his pro debut as well. He’s hit everywhere he has been.


Starting upright with his feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, Ledbetter gets into his backside with a medium leg kick that hovers for a bit and sink into his back hip. He looks to do damage to his pull side, which can result in hooking balls on occasion, but he is not entirely pull-dependent.

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He’s athletic in the box and his hands are adjustable, allowing him to get to pitches in different spots. Even when he is fooled, he can throw his hands at the ball and put it in play. Ledbetter will flash average power to his pull side, but his flat swing that is geared more for line drives limits his power projection some. He’s selective, walking more than he struck out in his junior season while running a chase rate below 20% both in his collegiate season and pro debut. There’s potential for above average hit and average pop paired with a knack for getting on base.


At least an average runner, Ledbetter covers plenty of ground in a corner and could potentially even play an average center. His arm is strong enough in the corners which paired with his range could make him an above average defender in left or right. The Rays will likely give Ledbetter plenty of run in center. He swiped 36 bags on 40 tries in his 143 collegiate games and should be a threat for around 15 stolen bases annually.


While Ledbetter may not boast the loftiest ceiling, its hard to find a deficiency in his game. Average or slightly better tools across the board and a gamer’s mentality, Ledbetter has the goods to be a big league regular, especially if he is able to play center. His impact against righties is closer to above average, with his exit velocities jumping multiple ticks along with a higher slugging output. , giving him a potential fallback of a bulk platoon role.

8. Adrian Santana – SS – (CPX)

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 165 | Bat/Throw: S/R | 1st Round – A (31), 2023 (TB) | ETA: 2027


Strong bloodlines, fantastic defense at shortstop and double plus wheels enticed the Rays enough to take Santana 31st overall.


A switch-hitter, Santana is raw in the box with his right-handed swing further ahead. He has a pretty good feel for the barrel from both sides, but his bat speed and swing path are better as a righty. Santana has projection on his frame and will need to add strength as his power is currently well below average. His pre-swing moves are rather clean and simple and he could develop into an above average hitter as he gets more reps and develops his left-handed swing further.

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Not only does Santana have the ingredients to stick at shortstop, he has a chance to be an impactful defender there. His double plus speed is translates to twitchiness, great footwork and range at shortstop which paired with his well-above average arm helps him make difficult plays in the hole.

His actions are smooth, picking balls like he’s been doing it longer than he has and with the comfort of throwing from all different arm angles. He easily projects as a plus defender at short. His 70 wheels should make him a menace on the base paths.


It’s very early in the development of Santana, making it difficult to project his offensive potential. He has room for physical projection and with both his father and brother playing professional baseball, there’s strong bloodlines. His defensive ability and speed elevate his floor and give him a good chance at becoming a Taylor Walls type on a lower-end outcome, but if the bat comes along the way the Rays hope, he could be an everyday shortstop.

9. Osleivis Basabe – SS – (MLB)

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 170 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $550K – 2017 (TEX) | ETA: 2024


The best bat-to-ball prospect in the Rays system, Basabe walked as much as he struck out in Double-A while playing all over the infield, parlaying it into a big league call-up.


Short levers and a quick, flat swing help Basabe seemingly make contact with everything, striking out just 13% of the time as a pro. Even when he can’t get his “A” swing off, Basabe is able to throw his hands at tough pitches to put a ball in play in a way that is a bit similar to David Fletcher but with more doubles power.

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Basabe’s flat swing and contact-oriented approach contribute to an elevated ground ball rate, but he hits the ball harder than his frame may suggest. A 102.5 MPH 90th percentile exit velocity is slightly above average with a max of 108 MPH.

While he will probably never hit more than a few homers per season, Basabe’s gap-to-gap power is enough to hit a fair amount of doubles; however he’ll need to cut down his roughly 55% ground ball rate a bit.


Capable of sticking at shortstop, Basabe plays all over the infield and provides defensive value no matter where you stick him. He has spent most of his time on the left side of the infield, but Basabe is a plus defender at second base as well. An above average runner, Basabe is a good for 15+ bags annually.


Though his ceiling is limited, Basabe is a high probability big leaguer with enough athleticism to be an above average regular. He’ll have to consistently hit, but he has provided little reason to be concerned in that department with an easy plus hit tool and a good track record of hitting. I could see Basabe blossoming into a Joey Wendle-type with less whiff.

10. Jonny DeLuca – OF – (MLB)

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 215 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 25th Round (761), 2019 (LAD) | ETA: 2024


A speedster with a good feel to hit and the ability to play all three outfield spots at a high-level, Deluca is a high floor piece who showed well in his MLB cameo and does all of the little things to help a team win a ballgame. Deluca was acquired as part of the Tyler Glasnow return from the Dodgers.

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Starting with his hands low, almost down by his waist, Deluca gets into a sizable leg kick as he pulls his hands up to his slot. It’s a loud move, but Deluca’s athleticism and body control allow him to repeat the moves frequently and make plenty of contact.

After a mediocre collegiate career, Deluca has mashed at every professional stop, OPSing .884 in just under 300 Minor League games. He has particularly mashed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .943 OPS. Even though the power is fringy, Deluca can sneak balls out to his pull side, generating decent carry.

Deluca is difficult to punch out thanks to his good feel for the strike zone and simplified moves with two strikes. He minimizes his leg kick when down to two strikes with a focus on seeing the ball early and making contact. He’ll have to really hit to be a regular, but his above average feel to hit and the ability to sprinkle in just enough impact give him a chance.


A plus runner, Deluca covers more than enough ground in center with efficient routes and comfort tracking in all directions. His above average arm makes him an impactful defender at all three spots. Though not an insanely aggressive base steal compared to others with his speed, Deluca is extremely efficient, swiping 58 bags on 63 tries in roughly 300 Minor League games.


Deluca’s bat-to-ball skills paired with just enough impact could make him productive enough offensively to be an average regular, but he most likely projects as a platoon/fourth outfield option for a first division team. His above average defense at all three outfield spots really elevates his floor as a high-probability big league piece for the Rays.

11. Yoniel Curet – RHP – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $150K, 2019 (TB) | ETA: 2024


Curet possesses some of the loudest stuff in the Rays system, headlined by a double plus heater with good life that can touch triple digits. He picked up a swinging strike rate of 16% and in zone whiff rate of 35% on the pitch in 2023. Curet’s cutterish slider also flashes plus in the upper 80s. The hard, late action of the pitch makes it effective to both lefties and righties. He will mix in a changeup that flashes above average, but he does not have a consistent feel for it.

While well below-average command has held Curet back some, his ability to miss bats has allowed him to dance around incredibly high walk rates as a pro thus far. Opponents hit just .149 against him in 2023 with a 33% strikeout rate. The three pitch mix is more than good enough to be a starter and his changeup improved as the season progressed. That said, he will need to make a huge leap command wise to stick in the rotation. If he moves to the bullpen, Curet’s arsenal is undoubtedly primed for a high-leverage/closer role.

12. Santiago Suarez – RHP – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $385K, 2021 (MIA) | ETA: 2026


Acquired in a larger swap that sent Xavier Edwards and JT Chargios to Miami, Suarez dominated the rookie levels with his advanced feel for three pitches, posting a 1.13 ERA in 39 2/3 innings of work at the Florida Complex League before handling a Low-A promotion prior to his 19th birthday.

Suarez sits 93-95 mph with his fastball, but it lacks some desired shape, sometimes flirting with the dead zone. He compensates for the lack of life with great command of the fastball, wearing out the bottom of the zone and landing it for a strike 74% of the time in 2023.

His slurvy curveball sits 78-81 mph, with late bite, flashing plus and the changeup is a work in progress, but has looked like a viable third offering at points. His well-above average command for his age gives him a great chance of sticking as a starter.

13. Mason Montgomery – LHP – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 200 | Bat/Throw: L/L | 6th Round (191), 2021 (TB) | ETA: 2024


Montgomery dominated hitters at the lower levels off of deception and three pitches that work off of each other well. He expectedly was a bit more challenged at the upper levels, but continued to get outs a churn out plenty of quality outings.

Montgomery exclusively works from the stretch. He comes set closed off with his front foot about six inches towards first base. He stays closed late into his delivery, which combined with his extremely short arm action, helps him hide the baseball for as long as possible.

The unique release from Montgomery helps his fastball play up with good ride from a low attack angle. Though his fastball only sits around 91-93 mph, it averages around 19 inches of induced vertical break with even more perceived ride.

He pairs a mid-80s slider that tunnels off his fastball well with gyro break. Though the action of the pitch points towards it being closer to an average pitch at best, it is so difficult for hitters to differentiate that it plays up (.170 OBA). It’s a similar story for his low 80s changeup which became more effective for him as the season progressed.

The command is average for Montgomery, but good enough to stick as a starter. He has good enough stuff to potentially round out a rotation.

14. Brailer Guerrero – OF – (DSL)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 215 | Bat/Throw: L/R | IFA: $3.7M, 2023 (TB) | ETA: 2028


Huge power potential is what earned Guerrero a nearly $4 million pay day in the 2023 IFA cycle and he immediately put that power on display in a handful of DSL games before going down with a shoulder injury. Already posting exit velocities of 109 mph prior to his 17th birthday, there’s plenty of impact to dream on if Guerrero can hit enough. The swing is not overly stiff for a hitter as strong as he is and he moves pretty well in the box, providing optimism that the hit tool can come along.

His approach is advanced for his age, lending to the power, walk and hit just enough profile that has become quite common in the big leagues. He should be a fine defender in a corner where his plus arm and offensive profile fit well.

15. Ronny Simon – INF – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 5’9″, 185 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: 2017 (CHC) | ETA: 2024


Originally signed by the Cubs in the 2017 IFA cycle, Simon has since been dealt for a big leaguer on two different occasions (Andrew Chafin and Jordan Luplow). He is a dynamic infielder who plays the game at full speed at all times. Historically a free swinger, Simon cut down on the chase in 2023, resulting in a career-best 11% walk rate at the upper levels.

A switch hitter, Simon packs a punch for his compact frame, posting exit velocities as high as 111 mph. His left-handed swing had been ahead of his right side, but he closed the gap at the upper levels, boosting his overall numbers. Though he projects best at second base, he is capable of plugging in on the left side of the infield and even saw some action in left field in the LIDOM. He has the skill set to be a solid utility type and despite not being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, Simon put himself in position to possibly debut in 2024.

Other Names to Watch

Mason Auer – OF – (Double-A): A fifth round pick in 2021 out of JUCO powerhouse San Jacinto College, Auer’s two-way pedigree has translated into an elite outfield arm in the early goings of his professional career. After hitting .290 with an .859 OPS in 2022, he slowed to a .205 clip and .640 OPS in 124 games in Double-A last year. While he thrives in all three outfield spots and has stolen 105 bases in his first 250 pro games, the 22-year-old’s 36% K-Rate with Montgomery keeps him out of the top 15 for now.

Dru Baker – OF – (Double-A): The 23-year-old Baker was Tampa’s fourth round pick in 2021 out of Texas Tech after hitting .343 and swiping 18 bags in 20 attempts in his draft year. After he was limited to just 47 games in 2022, Baker broke out in ’23 with a .302/.384/.472 slash line and 49 stolen bases in 54 attempts between High-A and Double-A. Baker showcased sporadic power with 14 homers, but his game-changing speed resulted in eight triples. After splitting his time evenly between all three outfield spots last year, Baker should project as a fourth outfielder with a chance at even more.

Brock Jones – OF – (High-A): A former safety for the Stanford football team, Jones hit .324 with 21 home runs and a 1.115 OPS for the Cardinal baseball team in 2022 before signing for nearly $1.1 million after being taken in the second round. While athleticism has been Jones’ calling card since he got to Palo Alto, his hand-eye skills were tested in Bowling Green last year and posted just a .201 batting average and a 33% K-Rate. He’s a physical specimen, but Jones has a ways to go before he looks the part of a smooth big leaguer at the plate.

Greg Jones – SS/CF – (Triple-A): Speed is the name of the game for Jones, but he has struggled to get on base a high enough of a clip to make showcasing his wheels a nightly occurrence in pro ball. Over the past two seasons, Jones has stolen 61 bases in 70 attempts, and has done it in just 150 games. However, his .318 OBP and .730 OPS in that stretch haven’t forced him into Tampa’s immediate plans. Jones can play both center field and shortstop, but he’ll be 26 years old on Opening Day and is likely slated for another season in Durham.

Andrew Lindsey – RHP – (CPX): One of the pieces in return for the tandem of Vidal Bruján and Calvin Faucher from Miami this offseason, Lindsey has a fascinating backstory. The now 24-year-old called it quits on baseball after two seasons in Junior College and a year at Charlotte, but fell back in love while coaching a Little League team in his hometown and transferred to Tennessee after a strong summer ball showing. After pairing with Rockies’ first round pick Chase Dollander in the Vols’ weekend rotation, Tampa ID’ed the fifth round pick last year and saw a mid-to-high 90s fastball with a hard slider that may play in a big league bullpen sooner rather than later.

Kameron Misner – OF – (AAA): The 26-year-old Misner has climbed step by step since being taken 35th overall by the Marlins in 2019 out of the University of Missouri. The return for Joey Wendle, Misner has posted a career .802 OPS in the minor leagues and logged a 20/20 season with Triple-A Durham last year. The long-standing problem for Misner has been the strikeout bug, punching out at a 36% clip with Durham after K’ing 30% of the time with Montgomery in 2022. With the elevated K-Rate, Misner profiles more as a Sam Hilliard-type than the desired Josh Lowe-type.

Tre’ Morgan – 1B – (Low-A): Morgan was the unheralded star of LSU’s 2023 season which culminated in a College World Series title. An elite defensive first baseman, Morgan lacks the juice that typically accompanies the position but hedges the power concerns by punching out at just a 10% clip last year in Baton Rouge and K’ing just three times in his first 56 professional plate appearances. Morgan slashed a comical .389/.500/.472 in his first 11 games in Low-A Charleston, and the 21-year-old should figure out a way to be a big leaguer in some capacity.

Austin Shenton – CIF – (Triple-A): Shenton was objectively one of the best hitters in the upper minors last year, slashing .304/.423/.584 (1.006 OPS) with 45 doubles, 29 home runs and 99 RBI in 134 games between Montgomery and Durham. After playing almost exclusively third base with the Biscuits, Shenton split his time evenly between third and first with the Bulls in his 61 games in Triple-A. The 26-year-old is falling into the Jonathan Aranda bucket: a player that’s far too talented to be in the minor leagues, but there isn’t space to accommodate his presence in St. Pete.

Chandler Simpson – OF – (High-A): Simpson and St. Louis’ Victor Scott II are best friends, which makes it poetic that they split the MiLB stolen base crown last year, each swiping 94 bags (Scott was caught 14 times compares to Simpson’s 15). Tampa’s second round pick in 2022 out of Georgia Tech has hit just one home run in his career post-high school (2022 at Georgia Tech), but Simpson hit .294 and struck out just 8.7% of the time in 115 games between Low-A and High-A. Simpson profiles as a slap-hitting center fielder that can be a game-wrecker on the base paths.

Willy Vasquez – 3B/OF – (High-A): The 22-year-old Vasquez had a disappointing season in Bowling Green in 2023, logging a .703 OPS and just a .310 OBP. However, Vasquez did showcase his power, clubbing 16 home runs. After a so-so showing in the Dominican Winter League, Vasquez is out to prove that he is continuing to fill out his 6’3″ frame and has the offensive profile to thrive at third base.