Tampa Bay Rays Top Prospects 2024
Tampa Bay Rays top prospects for dynasty fantasy baseball including Junior Caminero, Curtis Mead, Shane Baz, Carson Williams, and more.
Welcome to our team prospect rankings. Over the next two months, I will be pumping out team top prospect rankings and evaluations for dynasty baseball. These reports are generated from live looks, film study, and advanced data analysis to bring you in-depth fantasy scouting reports on every player you need to know, with today’s being the Tampa Bay Rays Top Prospects.
Not all 30 players in each writeup will be dynasty relevant, but many will, and if you play in a deep league, certainly most of the names will be worth knowing.
You can check out our previous Top Prospect Rankings:
Each player has a detailed write-up. The top 10 rankings and writeups are free for all, but the rest of the top prospects are for paid subs. Get an edge in your dynasty leagues and get in on some of these players first! Let’s get to it: our Rays top prospects.
Tampa Bay Rays Top Prospects
1. Junior Caminero, 3B, 20, 6’2”/215
While some would call Caminero a 2023 breakout prospect, he has been a dude dating back to his Dominican Summer League days in the Cleveland Guardians organization. With a list weight of 157 pounds, Caminero has bulked up significantly but has not sacrificed a ton of athleticism in the process. The power is among the best in all of baseball and he is only 20 years old.
Mashing 31 home runs in 2023 across 117 games, Caminero posted elite exit velocities, reaching 111 mph on his 90th percentile exit velocity, which would rank in the top five among all hitters in baseball. The power is evident to all fields, and he can hit opposite-field home runs with the flick of his wrist. You could argue for a 70 grade on his power, and I would not be upset.
The contact skills are average as Caminero posted a contact rate north of 73 percent and a zone contact rate north of 80 percent. He is not going to be a .324 hitter like we saw in the minors, but he is capable of being a .270+ hitter consistently. The bat speed and barrel control allow Caminero to make adjustments on the fly in his swing and cover the zone well without expanding it too often.
Speed will not be a part of his game, and while he may give you a near zero in stolen bases, it is balanced out by the elite power and solid feel to hit. Caminero is not only the Rays top prospect but also arguably the top prospect in all of baseball. He is a swing tweak away from putting up elite power seasons.
FFG: Top-10 3B
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .280/.350/40 HR/5 SB
2. Curtis Mead, 2B/3B, 23, 6’2”/175
A data darling with a great story, Mead originally signed with the Phillies in 2018 out of Australia for $200k but only to be traded a year later to the Rays, where he began to blossom. With no Minor League season in 2020, Mead headed back to Australia to play in the professional league there, where he really began to evolve as a hitter and came back to the States looking like a top prospect.
Injuries limited Mead to 65 Minor League games in 2023, but he got a cup of coffee in the Majors, playing 24 games with the Rays. In Triple-A, Mead slashed .294/.385/.515 with nine home runs and 32 extra-base hits.
Mead makes a ton of contact, posting an 88 percent zone contact rate, which is in the plus range while having an overall contact rate of 82 percent. Mead, a disciplined hitter who limits swings to pitches in the zone, chased just 28 percent of pitches out of the zone. His swing is smooth, and the barrel stays in the zone for a long time, allowing the hit tool to play up with the ability to hit all fields.
The power has been more double power to this point than home runs but thats’s not from a lack of exit velocities. With back-to-back seasons of a 90th percentile exit velocity of 106 mph, MEad has exhibited plus EVs.
Between 2022 and 2023, Mead has played 141 games while collecting 52 doubles and 24 home runs. Speed is not likely to factor into his game, but Mead has the potential to be an extra-base machine with a solid number of home runs, all while posting solid OBPs.
FFG: Multi-Position OBP Monster
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .285/.375/23 HR/5 SB
3. Shane Baz, RHP, 24, 6’2”/190
While Baz technically spent too much time on the active roster to keep prospect status intact, he has only thrown 40 MLB innings, so we will include him on this list because Baz is one of the better prospect buys in dynasty leagues.
Having a strong arsenal but spotty command, Baz worked hard during the downtime during the pandemic to really improve his strike-throwing, and he returned looking like a different pitcher.
The arsenal is quite strong, beginning with a fastball that sits 96 with a ton of ride up in the zone, which easily reaches the high 90s. Baz pairs the fastball with a slider that sits in the upper 80s, and while it does not have an outlier movement profile, the pitch gets on hitters quickly.
The changeup shows a ton of horizontal movement while sitting in a similar velocity band as the slider, but Baz did not use it often previously. His curveball showed a ton of downward movement while averaging over seven inches of sweep.
We don’t know what Baz will look like upon return from Tommy John, but the upside of a high-end starting pitcher still seems like a possible outcome, assuming all goes well. Baz may be babied back on the mound in 2024, but his stock has a chance to soar as he builds up.
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: 160 IP/3.25 ERA/185 K
4. Carson Williams, SS, 20, 6’1”/180
Williams is a glove-first shortstop who oozes athleticism and tools across the board, with the exception of his hit tool. The former first-round pick in 2021 has made improvements over the last several years and seems close to putting it all together at the plate.
Hitting 19 home runs in 2022 in Single-A Charleston, Williams mashed 23 this year, spending time between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A, combining 115 games played. Williams also posted strong exit velocities, having a 90th percentile exit velocity right around 107 mph, which is firmly plus power, and there is still more room to add strength to his frame.
The bat speed comes easy as Williams whips the bat through the zone with ease, and his swing creates natural loft. The contact skills are hampered by his struggles against breaking balls. Williams mashes fastballs and becomes very susceptible to swing and miss against breaking ball, even in the zone, leading to a contact rate around 68 percent in 2023.
The approach is actually sound as Williams does not chase often out of the zone and has shown a propensity to walk, running a nearly 12 percent walk rate as a professional.
Speed is also a big part of his game, and it translates on the base paths as well, stealing 28 and 20 over the last two seasons, respectively.
There is a lot of upside to dream on, but Williams will have to make consistent contact against breaking balls to reach his full potential at the plate.
FFG: Power/Speed SS
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .260/.350/25 HR/20 SB
5. Xavier Isaac, 1B, 20, 6’4”/240
Issac was a rare prep first baseman selected in the first round by the Rays, but Isaac was an analytics darling who fit the Rays’ system perfectly. While having a big frame, Isaac actually moves pretty well for his size, showing to be a decent athlete and a strong offensive player.
The power is the calling card here, and it showed up this year as Isaac spent the entire season as a 19-year-old and posted a 108 mph 90th percentile exit velocity to pair with an 89 mph average exit velocity. Isaac has also hit some majestic home runs, maxing out at 115 mph.
The contact skills have shown to be questionable at times, as he posted just a 67 percent contact rate in 2023, which dropped down in the second half to 65 percent. The zone contact also showed slightly below average at 77 percent. The good news is that Isaac had a strong strike zone recognition and chased just 22 percent of pitches out of the zone, leading to solid walk rates near 15 percent in 2023.
While Isaac often hits the ball at ideal launch angles, the number was actually near zero degrees to the pull side, which, if corrected, could lead to big-time power outputs. While Isaac is not the best runner, I mentioned his athleticism, and it showed as he was 12 for 12 on stolen base attempts in 2023.
FFG: Power Hitting 1B
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .260/.350/35 HR/7 SB
6. Santiago Suarez, RHP, 18, 6’2”/175
Suarez originally signed with Miami as part of the 2022 international signing class but moved to Tampa Bay as part of the Xavier Edwards trade. Suarez showed good stuff in 2022 but then really took off in 2023 as he spent time at the complex and in Single-A, posting a 1.52 ERA across 59.1 innings with 52 strikeouts and 11 walks.
The fastball jumps on hitters sitting 93-95 mph but with 18 inches of induced vertical break, which generates a ton of whiffs up in the zone. There is some projectability that could lead to increased velocity as he matures.
Suarez shows a decent feel for the changeup, which fluctuates between 85 and 88 mph with decent depth and some fading action, but he will need to throw it for strikes more often.
The curveball shows nice downward action with some sweep, generating some ugly swings, sitting in the upper-70s but reaching the low-80s.
Suarez is quite athletic on the mound and has a consistent delivery. Being young and having that arsenal and command that Suarez does is impressive. There's a lot of upsides to dream of if all clicks.
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: 140 IP/3.60 ERA/150 K
7. Brayden Taylor, 3B, 21, 6’1”/180
A strong career at TCU landed Brayden Taylor in the first round of the 2023 draft after he hit .300 or better in all three college seasons and an OBP of at least .430 each year. Taylor enjoyed a power breakout this season, hitting 23 home runs after just 25 combined in his first two collegiate seasons.
Taylor’s best asset is his discipline and contact skills, chasing less than 15 percent of pitches out of the zone while also making contact on 84 percent of pitches in the zone. The power blossomed thanks to a 91 mph average exit velocity and 105 mph 90th while hitting the ball at ideal launch angles.
He is also a sneaky and efficient base stealer, being caught just once in 40 stolen base attempts in college, and was a percentage 11 of 11 in his pro debut.
Taylor controls the zone incredibly well and will likely post high OBPs. He sprays the ball in the gap to all fields well. The power should at least play close to average professionally.
FFG: High OBP 3B
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .270/.370/20 HR/15 SB
8. Yoniel Curet, RHP, 21, 6’2”/190
Curet signed with Tampa for $150k in 2019 but did not make his pro debut until 2021 due to the pandemic. After solid seasons in 2021 and 2022 in which he did not throw many innings, Curet surprised the two-season total in 2023, pitching 104 innings to a 2.94 ERA with 144 strikeouts.
The fastball is a dominant offering, sitting in the upper 90s with ride and a low VAA, creating a hard-to-pick-up pitch for hitters. The velocity holds well throughout starts, fluctuating between 96 and 99 mph. The slider sits in the upper 80s and has solid vertical and horizontal movement. He will flash a changeup on occasion but is primarily a two-pitch guy.
There is low effort and excellent repeatability in Curet’s delivery. The velocity comes easily. The biggest question is strike-throwing ability. Curet landed just 60 percent of pitches for strikes which led to a walk rate north of 17 percent. There is plenty of reliever risk here, but Curet has plenty of upside as a starting pitcher as well.
FFG: SP4 or High Leverage RP
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: 140 IP/3.75 ERA/160 K
Variance: Very High
9. Jonny DeLuca, OF, 25, 6’0”/200
DeLuca showed solid skills throughout the minors but has always been an afterthought in a deep Dodgers system due to being old for each level. After 22 and 25 home run seasons in 2021 and 2022, DeLuca has a strong 2023, which earned him a call-up to Los Angeles for a cup of coffee with the Dodgers.
DeLuca has shown strong contact skills in the minors, posting an overall clip over 80 percent in 2023 with a zone contact near 90 percent in the minors. He does not chase often, but there are questions about where the power lies.
Despite the high home run totals, DeLuca has posted below-average exit velocities both in the average exit velocity and 90th percentile department. There is speed, as DeLuca has stolen ten or more bases every season since 2019.
The long-term outlook still depends on the ability to find playing time in a crowded system. DeLuca might profile best as a fourth OF, or in another organization where he could find consistent playing time.
FFG: High-Contact Fourth OF
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .260/.360 OBP/25 HR/5 SB
10. Colton Ledbetter, OF, 22, 6’2”/205
Ledbetter began his collegiate career at Southern Conference Samford before transferring in 2023 to play at Mississippi State where he vaulted his draft stock after slashing .320/.452/.574 with 12 home runs and 17 stolen bases.
A patient hitter, Ledbetter chased less than 15 percent of pitches out of the zone and made strong contact, posting an 83 percent overall clip and 91 percent zone contact. The profile will play up significantly in an OBP league.
His power is more to the pull side, but he has a frame to tap into more. Ledbetter posted a 104 mph 90th percentile with aluminum last year, but a disappointing 86 mph average exit velocity. The power will be the most significant question mark with Ledbetter, and will he continue to run as a professional? 2024 will be a telling year for Ledbetter’s prospect value.
FFG: High OBP OF
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .270/370/20 HR/10 SB
Buy/Sell: Buy Depending on Cost
11. Adrian Santana, SS, 18, 5’11”/155
Santana has a smaller frame at 5’11”, but don’t let the size full you, he showed sneaky pop, mashing 11 home runs during his senior year to put him on the radar of many teams. He has always been slick in the field at shortstop, but he was more of a glove-first-type player before the bat really came along in 2023.
There are still long-term questions about what kind of power he will get to in the game and if he can continue to switch-hitting, as Santana is currently a much better hitter from the right side.
The speed is legit, as Santana posted a 6.16 60-yard dash, giving him 70 grade clock times. If power does come along and Santana can be a 10-12 home run bat on the regular with the speed and glove, he has a chance to be an everyday player for the Rays down the road.
FFG: Speedy/Glove-First SS
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .265/.335/15 HR/30 SB
Variance: Very High
Buy/Sell: Buy Depending on FYPD Cost
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