Here are the Rays' 2024 Top 30 prospects

March 4th, 2024

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- You don’t need to look too far down the Rays’ depth chart to see how much they depend on their Minor League system.

Taj Bradley, their No. 1 prospect a year ago, is penciled into their Opening Day rotation after making his debut last season. René Pinto, their starting catcher, worked his way through their system. So did second baseman Brandon Lowe, right fielder Josh Lowe, infielder Jonathan Aranda and rehabbing shortstop Taylor Walls. Colin Poche, one of their top setup relievers, came through their system as well.

Curtis Mead, competing for a spot, has been in their system since he was a Rookie-level prospect. The same goes for Junior Caminero, who is in his first Major League camp as Tampa Bay’s No. 1 prospect after soaring through the Minors to make his big league debut last September.

Caminero is the jewel of the system, but as usual, the Rays have plenty of depth to draw from. They have four Top 100 Prospects in Caminero, shortstop of the future Carson Williams, Mead and ascending first baseman Xavier Isaac. They have talent to watch at every level from Triple-A Durham to the Rookie-level complex leagues.

There are some questions Tampa Bay must answer on the farm this season, however -- and not just, “Where are they going to put all these infielders?” After pushing a big-time pitching prospect through the system seemingly every year, there is no obvious can’t-miss arm in the Rays system, with Mason Montgomery (No. 9) and Santiago Suarez (No. 10) currently their top-ranked pitchers.

But the Rays tend to produce a handful of breakout prospects every season. Caminero wasn’t getting this kind of hype two years ago. Mead didn’t enter the system as a big deal. Isaac isn’t far removed from being a question mark in the Draft. Who will step up next?

Here’s a look at the Rays' top prospects:
1. Junior Caminero, 3B/SS (MLB No. 4)
2. Carson Williams, SS (MLB No. 20)
3. Curtis Mead, 3B/2B (MLB No. 55)
4. Xavier Isaac, 1B (MLB No. 58)
5. Brayden Taylor, 3B/SS
Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2023 preseason list to the 2024 preseason list:

Jump: Dominic Keegan, C (2023: 25 | 2024: 6)
Austin Shenton used a full season of good health, plus the bat the Rays always knew he had, to get back on the list and climb all the way to No. 8. Suarez went from a little-known trade acquisition at No. 26 to arguably the organization’s top pitching prospect at No. 10. Then there’s Keegan, a fourth-round pick out of Vanderbilt in the 2022 Draft who may be Tampa Bay’s catcher of the future. His bat is still ahead of his defense, but the Rays have been thrilled with the strides he’s taken behind the plate, potentially giving them a rare figure in franchise history: a catcher who can hit.

Fall: Mason Auer, OF (2023: 8 | 2024: 25)
A couple players fell off the list, including four who were ranked inside the top 20 last preseason: Brock Jones, Carlos Colmenarez, Heriberto Hernandez and JJ Goss. Auer’s offensive performance last year would certainly merit the same treatment, as he often looked lost at the plate and hit just .205/.292/.348 with a 36% strikeout rate. But Auer is simply too talented elsewhere, with the best arm and arguably the most defensive ability in the entire system along with elite speed that helped him steal 47 bases last year, and it’s hard to forget he’s only a year removed from a .290/.372/.487 line in his first full season.

Top 30s

Best tools

Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools – 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.

Hit: 60 -- Caminero (Mead)
Power: 70 -- Caminero
Run: 80 – Chandler Simpson
Arm: 70 -- Auer
Defense: 65 -- Auer (Williams, Tre’ Morgan)
Fastball: 70 -- Yoniel Curet
Curveball: 55 -- Suarez
Slider: 60 -- Cole Wilcox (Curet)
Changeup: 55 -- Ian Seymour (Montgomery)
Control: 60 -- Marcus Johnson

How they were built
Draft: 14 | International: 5 | Trade: 11

Breakdown by ETA
2024: 9 | 2025: 8 | 2026: 8 | 2027: 5

Breakdown by position
C: 1 | 1B: 2 | 2B: 2 | 3B: 5 | SS: 4 | OF: 6 | RHP: 7 | LHP: 3