Meeting And Overcoming Resistance Key To Rays’ Prospect Development
It’s hard to determine whether a prospect is meeting resistance at a higher level or if they are simply off to a slow start. Either way, it’s nice to see prospects dig themselves out of early season struggles.
Keep in mind, each of these players have a long way to go to reach the ceiling expected of them at each level. It will be interesting to track the progress of each player in the coming weeks to see if they are able to sustain their turnarounds.
Bowling Green Hot Rods:
Centerfielder Josh Lowe, 19, Rays first round pick in 2016 (#13) overall. At the end of April he was batting .188 (12-for-64) and had struck out an alarming 50-percent of his plate appearances (35 K’s in 70 PAs). In the month of May he is starting to settle batting .273 (9-for-33) and has struck out just 10 times in 41 plate appearances. Overall, he is batting .216/.294/.351 on the year.
Shortstop Lucius Fox, 19, acquired from the San Francisco Giants in Matt Moore trade. In the season’s first 12 games he found himself batting just .132 (5-for-38) and had struck out in 27.3-percent of his plate appearances (12K/44 PA). In his last 15 games, he’s batting .368 (21-for-57) and has struck out 22.7-percent (15K/66PA) while walking 12-percent (8BB/66PA). Overall, he’s boosted his numbers to .274/.364/.295 on the year.
Charlotte Stone Crabs:
Pitcher Genesis Cabrera, 20, signed November 1, 2013 Dominican Republic. April was not kind to the lefty as he made four starts posting a 1-3 mark with a 5.18 ERA (13-ER/22.2-IP) while striking out 15 and walking 8. Since the calendar has flipped to May he’s been outstanding. In three starts he is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA (2-ER/18-IP) but has battled command issues (14K/10BB). Overall, he’s 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.61 BB/K ratio.
Shortstop Andrew Velazquez, 22, acquired from Arizona Diamondbacks in November 2015 in Jeremy Hellickson trade. After the season’s first 15 games, Velazquez was batting just .111 (5-for-45) and had struck out in 30-percent (15K/50 PAs) of his plate appearances and had drawn just two walks. Over his last 14 games he’s hitting .341 (14-for-41) while striking out in just 18-8-percent (9K/48PA) of his plate appearances while drawing five walks. Overall, he’s batting .221/.295/.314.
Third Baseman Michael Russell, 23, drafted by Rays 5th round 2014. Russell spent the 2016 season with the Rays Class A affiliate Bowling Green Hot Rods. Based on his age and college experience the organization opted to have him skip High-A and go straight to Double-A. The beginning of the season was rough for him. Through the first 14 games of the season he was hitting just .167 (8-for-48). Over his last 16 games he’s hitting .277 (18-for-65) with a pair of homers and six doubles. Overall, he’s batting .220/.295/.385 with 3 homers and 17 RBI.
Shortstop Willy Adames, 21, acquired from Detroit Tigers in 2014 in David Price deal. Adames got off to a slow start with the Bulls hitting just .210 (17-for-81) in April. He’s picked it up in May batting .263 (10-for-39). Overall, he’s batting .227/.301/.361 with two homers and 14 RBI on the season.