Rays top prospect Caminero making a statement in winter ball

December 2nd, 2023

Few prospects accomplished more in 2023 than Junior Caminero, who hopped from Double-A to the Majors down the stretch for the playoff-bound Rays and became the youngest active player in the Majors at the time. But Caminero isn’t resting on those laurels this winter.

Far from it. The Santo Domingo native is playing winter ball in his home country, and excelling in the Dominican Winter League.

The 20-year-old was the offensive star again Friday night, homering and doubling as part of a four-hit night in Leones Del Escogido’s 10-6 win over Gigantes. Caminero drove in a pair, scored two runs and reached base five times as his bat remained red hot.

Through 21 games with Leones, Caminero is hitting a robust .333/.362/.575 with 29 hits, five home runs, and 15 RBIs. His two-run homer Friday was his fourth in his past seven games.

That’s precisely the kind of ability that makes Caminero one of the game’s most exciting prospects, currently ranked No. 6 overall by MLB Pipeline. Tampa Bay’s top prospect only got seven games to flash it for the Rays down the stretch, but before that enjoyed one of the most productive seasons in the Minors, raking to the tune of a .324/.384/.591 line and 31 homers across High-A and Double-A.

Even though Caminero has never played in Triple-A, the Rays considered him talented enough to contribute down the stretch. So whether he makes the team out of Spring Training or spends a few weeks at Triple-A to begin the year, Caminero should get another chance to contribute in Tampa Bay early in 2024, and could be in the 2024 Rookie of the Year conversation by season’s end.