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Rays eyeing shortstop, southpaw in 2018 Draft

Turang, Weathers headline Tampa Bay's options for 16th overall pick
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- In recent years, the Rays have augmented their farm system through trades that have brought into the fold the likes of promising players such as Willy Adames, Jake Bauers, Christian Arroyo, and Anthony Banda. They hope to add to that collection of potential future stars when they scour the high school and collegiate ranks for this year's MLB Draft.

The 2018 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 ET tonight. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.

ST. PETERSBURG -- In recent years, the Rays have augmented their farm system through trades that have brought into the fold the likes of promising players such as Willy Adames, Jake Bauers, Christian Arroyo, and Anthony Banda. They hope to add to that collection of potential future stars when they scour the high school and collegiate ranks for this year's MLB Draft.

The 2018 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 ET tonight. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Rays, whose first selection is the 16th overall pick.

In about 50 words
Can the Rays tap another player the likes of Kevin Kiermaier? The Gold Glove/Platinum Glove center fielder came to the organization in the 31st round (941st player overall) of the 2010 MLB Draft. Only four players in club history have been drafted later and reached the Major Leagues with the Rays.

The scoop
This will be Rob Metzler's third season directing the Rays' efforts in the Draft as the organization's director of amateur scouting. Last season, the Rays selected two-way threat Brendan McKay, a first baseman and left-handed pitcher out of the University of Louisville, with the No. 4 overall selection. To date, McKay looks as though he has a great future. Is there a player of comparable value to be found this year with the No. 16 pick?

First round buzz
MLB.com's Jim Callis recently wrote that shortstop Brice Turang (Santiago High School, Corona, Calif.) could be on the Rays' radar. Left-hander Ryan Weathers out of Loretto (Tenn.) High School, could also be around when the Rays pick. He's the son of David Weathers, who pitched 19 seasons in the Major Leagues.

Video: Draft Report: Brice Turang, High School shortstop

Money matters
Each pick in the first 10 rounds of the Draft has an assigned value, and the total for each of a club's selections equals what it can spend in those rounds without incurring a penalty. Any bonus money above $125,000 given to an individual player picked in rounds 11-40 also counts against a team's allotment.

The assigned slots are 4.2 percent higher than last year, reflecting the increase in MLB's annual revenues.

If a player selected in the first 10 rounds doesn't sign, his pick's value is subtracted from his club's pool. If a team exceeds its allotment, it faces a penalty.

A team that outspends its pool by 0-5 percent pays a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, clubs lose future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for surpassing their pool by more than 5 and up to 10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.

The Rays' bonus pool money for this year's Draft is $12,415,600, which ranks second behind the Royals for most available bonus pool money.

Shopping list
The Rays' farm system was ranked No. 4 overall by MLB.com coming into this season, which can be credited to quality trades, strong drafts and key international signings. How will they beef up their system further? They'll be looking for strong pitching while using the best-available player strategy throughout the Draft.

Trend watch
The last four years, the Rays have selected offensive players with their top picks including Casey Gillaspie (2014), Garrett Whitley (2015), Joshua Lowe (2016), and McKay (2017), though McKay also pitches.

Rising fast
Brandon Lowe was a third-round selection of the Rays in the 2015 Draft out of the University of Maryland. Currently he is with Double-A Montgomery and tearing up the Southern League while playing second base and left field. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the Rays' No. 14 prospect.

Cinderella story
Nate Lowe is the older brother of Joshua Lowe, the Rays' top pick of the 2016 Draft. Unlike his brother, Nate played college ball, attending Mississippi State before getting selected by the Rays in the 13th round of the 2016 Draft. Power is his game, and he's demonstrated plenty of power with Class A Charlotte this season.

In The Show
Nine members of the current 40-man roster were originally Rays Draft selections: Jake Faria (2011, 10th round), Johnny Field (2013, 5th Round), Brent Honeywell (2014, Competitive Balance Round B), Kevin Kiermaier (2010, 31st Round), Austin Pruitt (2013, 9th Round), Jaime Schultz (2013, 14th Round), Blake Snell (2011, 1st Round), Ryan Stanek (2013, 1st Round) and Hunter Wood (2013, 29th Round).

The Rays' recent top picks
2017: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP (Class A Charlotte)
2016: Joshua Lowe, CF (Class A Charlotte)
2015: Garrett Whitley, OF (Injured)
2014: Casey Gillaspie, 1B (Traded to the White Sox organization)
2013: Nick Ciuffo, C (Suspended)

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays