With the 2009 MLB draft next Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays front office is busy preparing for their fourth rodeo. Now is a good time to take a look back and gauge the early returns from players selected in last year’s draft.
Without further ado, we present you the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2008 top 10 draft picks recap (stats do not include yesterday’s action)…
- Tim Beckham, SS. Very much a diamond in the rough. Watching the boxscores every morning and you can see the talent is there, but there is still a lot of improvement needed. Has played the entire season at low-A Bowling Green, hitting .306/.356/.420 which is a decent line. What you don’t like are the 43 strikeouts in 41 games with only 13 walks. You also don’t like the 14 errors, but that will come around. And his statline might be a little bloated as his BABIP is a little high (.390) considering his kinda low 17.7% line drive rate. And his numbers are downright putrid against lefties (Beckham bats righty): .216/.231/.243. Right now, Beckham looks like he is going to be a one-level-per-year player. So 2012 at the earliest before we start dreaming of a new stud shortstop at The Trop.
- Kyle Lobstein, LHP. Lobstein has yet to play a game in the Rays organization. The lefty threatened to play basketball at Arizona, but he finally signed for $1.5 million which at the time was the highest bonus given to a draftee in the second round or later. Look for Lobstein to make his debut with either Hudson Valley or Princeton later this month.
- Jake Jefferies, C. Jefferies made a solid debut for short-season Hudson Valley last summer hitting .315/.379/.433. His statline has dipped a bit this season to .262/.345/.369 at low-A Bowling Green, but he still has nice command of the strikezone which bodes well for his ability to move up the ranks. This season he has a 15-to-16 strikeout to walk ratio and 37-to-37 for his short professional career. Of course, as a catcher, the important aspect is his development as a catcher and last season he threw out only 2 of 19 would be base stealers.
- Ty Morrison, OF. Morrison appeared in 10 games for Princeton last season going 9-34 with 12 strikeouts and 2 walks. He has yet to appear in a game this season and will likely make his debut with Hudson Valley later this month.
- Mike Sheridan, 1B. Sheridan hit .321 in 31 games for Hudson Valley last year after being drafted but is off to a slow start this season with Bowling Green, .246/.270/.430. His biggest weakness is lefties as he is .207/.226/.276 against southpaws.
- Shane Dyer, RHP. Dyer has made 8 starts for Bowling Green after making 14 starts for Hudson Valley last year. This season he is 0-3 with a 3.98 ERA and 30 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 40.2 innings. That translates to a pedestrian 4.30 tRA.
- Jason Corder, OF. Corder had a strong start last year in Hudson Valley hitting .306-5-36 in 50 games, but is only hitting .158-1-5 in 21 games for Hudson Valley this season.
- Anthony Scelfo, OF. After hitting .281-4-24 last year with Hudson Valley, Scelfo is down to .230-1-12 in 41 games for Bowling Green.
- Shawn Smith, LHP. Smith made 8 appearances last year for Princeton including 1 start. In 14 innings, he gave up 11 earned runs on 20 hits and 9 walks with 12 strikeouts. He will likely make his 2009 debut later this month with Hudson Valley.
- Matt Hall, 2B. Hall has had an interesting season. He started the year with high-A Charlotte, but played 1 game with Montgomery and was recently promoted to Durham. The quick move up the ranks has been more about need than performance as Hall has served as kind of a roving middle infielder depending on which team has needs at that particular moment. So far this season he is only hitting .207/.270/.293, but has seen playing time at 2B, SS and 3B and he is even made a pitching appearance, throwing 1 scoreless inning for Durham.