ST. PETERSBURG -- Brent Honeywell and Jake Bauers highlighted the group of players added to the Rays' 40-man roster on Monday.The Rays had to add the players to the 40-man roster before Monday's 8 p.m. ET deadline, which kept them from being eligible for the Rule 5 Draft at December's
ST. PETERSBURG -- Brent Honeywell and Jake Bauers highlighted the group of players added to the Rays' 40-man roster on Monday.
The Rays had to add the players to the 40-man roster before Monday's 8 p.m. ET deadline, which kept them from being eligible for the Rule 5 Draft at December's Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
• Rays' Top 30 Prospects
"Making our Minor League system deeper, and stronger, has been a focus of ours these past few years," senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom said. "We see it throughout the year, but we especially see it on days like today when we're trying to make these decisions, really up and down the system. And it's a good problem to have, but it does make the decisions today harder."
Honeywell is ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Rays' top prospect. The right-hander went 13-9 with a 3.49 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 136 2/3 innings while making two starts for Double-A Montgomery and 24 for Triple-A Durham. Honeywell is expected to contend for a spot in the Rays' starting rotation this spring.
The 22-year-old Honeywell was named the MVP of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game after opening the game with two shutout innings in the United States' 7-6 victory over the World Team.
When asked about Honeywell, Bloom responded with, "Where do you start?"
"I think you have to start with what he does on the mound," Bloom said. "He has a really deep arsenal. He's kind of famous for his screwball, but really you could take that away completely and he'd still be an elite prospect. The guy has the stuff to dominate hitters at the Major League level and certainly has the mindset to do it."
Bauers, 22, opened some eyes with his power and quality while at Spring Training with the Major League club. He did nothing to dull that luster while spending his first full season at Triple-A, where he hit .263 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs. With the Rays having lost both first basemen from the 2017 club, Lucas Duda and Logan Morrison, the sweet-swinging lefty will likely get a look at first base in the spring.
Bauers "kind of burst on the scene early, and you could not have had a better Spring Training than Jake Bauers had last year," Bloom said. "Opened eyes, and we had guys in our Major League clubhouse asking about him all year.
"Some of it was just how he fit in. The confidence that he has. And this is a kid with a very natural feel for hitting. He has an ease about his game. He looks like a veteran the way he does a lot of things on the field. And we're looking forward to hopefully seeing an encore this coming spring."
Also added to the 40-man roster were right-handers Diego Castillo, Yonny Chirinos and Jose Mujica, outfielder Justin Williams, and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough.
The Rays' roster now stands at 39.
Notables who were not protected include right-hander Burch Smith and catcher Nick Ciuffo.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.