ST. PETERSBURG -- On Saturday, MLB Pipeline unveiled its Top 100 prospects heading into the 2019 season, and the Rays are well represented once again.On this year's list, the Rays have six players in the Top 100, which ties them for third with the White Sox and Astros. Only the
ST. PETERSBURG -- On Saturday, MLB Pipeline unveiled its Top 100 prospects heading into the 2019 season, and the Rays are well represented once again.
On this year's list, the Rays have six players in the Top 100, which ties them for third with the White Sox and Astros. Only the Padres (10) and the Braves (eight) have more players listed than Tampa Bay.
:: Complete 2019 Top 100 Prospects coverage ::
Shortstop Wander Franco leads the way for the Rays, as the 17-year-old makes his debut on the preseason Top 100 list as the No. 13 prospect after a dominant performance, finishing with a .351/.418/.587 slash line and connecting on 11 home runs in just 61 games in Rookie ball. Right-handed pitcher Brent Honeywell comes in as the No. 28 prospect, despite undergoing Tommy John surgery last season. Two-way player Brendan McKay checks in at No. 29, giving Tampa Bay three players in the top 30.
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLB Pipeline Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2019 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 25 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Outfielder Jesus Sanchez (No. 39), 2018 first-round Draft pick Matthew Liberatore (No. 55) and catcher Ronaldo Hernandez (No. 84) round out the list for the Rays.
With the six players listed in the 2019 preseason Top 100, the Rays have now had more players (62) than any other team on the Top 50/100 preseason lists. They're also one of five teams that have had at least one player on all 16 lists, dating back to '04.
The Rays finished with 358 prospect points, which is only behind the Padres (574), Braves (429) and White Sox (397). This shows how the clubs rank in terms of representation on the Top 100 list, with each prospect on the list being assigned a point value as follows: 100 for No. 1; 99 for No. 2; 98 for No. 3, etc. The 358 points for the Rays in 2019 is the highest for the organization since compiling 428 points in '08.
Tampa Bay also made history earlier this week as the organization had 10 players (with McKay listed twice; once as a pitcher and once as a hitter) listed on the MLB Pipeline Top 10 positional lists. That's the most any organization has had listed in a single year since the inaugural list in 2011.
** Juan Toribio ** covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.