Where TB top prospects are starting season

April 30th, 2021

With the 2021 season getting started, here's a look at where the Rays' Top 30 prospects are projected to start the season:

  1. Wander Franco (MLB No. 1), SS -- Durham (Triple-A)
  2. Luis Patiño (MLB No. 16), RHP -- Tampa Bay (MLB)
  3. Vidal Bruján (MLB No. 43), 2B -- Durham (Triple-A)
  4. Brendan McKay (MLB No. 63), LHP -- Durham (Triple-A)
  5. Shane McClanahan (MLB No. 75), LHP -- Tampa Bay (MLB)
  6. Xavier Edwards (MLB No. 76), 2B -- Injured list (oblique)/Montgomery (Double-A)
  7. Shane Baz (MLB No. 81), RHP -- Montgomery (Double-A)
  8. Taylor Walls, SS -- Durham (Triple-A)
  9. Greg Jones, SS -- Injured list (quad)/Bowling Green (High-A)
  10. Cole Wilcox, RHP -- Charleston (Low-A)
  11. Nick Bitsko, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
  12. Josh Lowe, OF -- Durham (Triple-A)
  13. Joe Ryan, RHP -- Charleston (Low-A)
  14. Heriberto Hernandez, C/OF -- Bowling Green (High-A)
  15. JJ Goss, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
  16. Seth Johnson, RHP -- Charleston (Low-A)
  17. Carlos Colmenarez, SS -- Extended Spring Training
  18. Blake Hunt, C -- Bowling Green (High-A)
  19. Brent Honeywell Jr., RHP -- Durham (Triple-A)
  20. Josh Fleming, LHP -- Tampa Bay (MLB)
  21. Drew Strotman, RHP -- Durham (Triple-A)
  22. Alejandro Pie, SS -- Extended Spring Training
  23. Taj Bradley, RHP -- Charleston (Low-A)
  24. Kevin Padlo, 3B -- Durham (Triple-A)
  25. Ian Seymour, LHP -- Extended Spring Training (left flexor)
  26. Osleivis Basabe, SS -- Extended Spring Training
  27. Alika Williams, SS -- Charleston (Low-A)
  28. Ford Proctor, C/INF -- Montgomery (Double-A)
  29. Jhon Diaz, OF -- Extended Spring Training
  30. Pedro Martinez, SS/2B -- Bowling Green (High-A)

Team to watch
There might not be a more prospect-loaded team in the Minors than Triple-A Durham. Nine of the Rays' Top 30 prospects are headed to play for the Bulls, including three Top 100 talents in Wander Franco, Vidal Bruján and Brendan McKay. It's a well-rounded group as well with good clusters of pitchers (McKay, Joe Ryan, Brent Honeywell Jr., Drew Strotman), infielders (Franco, Bruján, Taylor Walls, Kevin Padlo) and outfielders (Josh Lowe and, again, Bruján). No lollygaggers here.

Teams on MiLB.TV
Triple-A Durham
Double-A Montgomery
High-A Bowling Green
Low-A Charleston

New faces
Luis Patiño is the biggest new face of the Rays pipeline but is already up with the big club. He could join Triple-A Durham at some point once pitchers return from injury. Cole Wilcox (Low-A Charleston) and Blake Hunt (High-A Bowling Green) -- two of the other ranked prospects Tampa Bay picked up from San Diego in the Blake Snell deal -- will open up 2021 at the lower levels of the Minors. Acquired from the Rangers for Nate Lowe, catcher/outfielder/first baseman Heriberto Hernandez will begin his Rays career with Wilcox in Low-A East.

On the shelf
Xavier Edwards suffered some oblique soreness during Minor League camp. Though he'll open on the Double-A injured list, the injury is not considered serious, and the Rays expect the middle infielder to return sometime in May. Similarly, Greg Jones is expected to join High-A Bowling Green at some point next month after he suffered a left quad strain in late March. Left-hander Ian Seymour dealt with flexor soreness on his pitching side midway through Minor League camp that slowed him down. He is back throwing now but needs to be built up before he is assigned to a club.