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The Rays of the Future

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Want to know why the Rays will  be the team to beat for a while? Read this Sports Illustrated piece (the website is great, the magazine not so much anymore…print media dying its slow death, I guess).

Money quote(s) from that piece:

Thanks to MLB’s quirky draft rules — in which teams that lose valued free agents are granted additional picks — the Rays have 12 of the first 89 selections in the draft that begins June 6, including 10 of the first 60 in what could be one of the two or three best pools of amateur talent in the past decade. [Emphasis added.]

Which leads to this:

The sheer volume of picks provides Tampa Bay with an unprecedented chance to restock their farm system. If the Rays so choose, they can even hedge their bets like never before with a combination of quick-to-the-majors prospects that can help extend the parent club’s recent winning ways while also filling the lower rungs of the minor leagues with high-upside, long-development players, too. For a club like the Rays who can’t afford to sign high-priced free agents, scouting and development is the organization’s backbone for player procurement. [Emphasis added.]

And then to this:

The Rays have long been major players on draft day, historically owing to their prime real-estate at or near the top of the first round. They picked in the top eight in 10 consecutive drafts after not winning more than 70 games in any of the previous seasons. They cashed in on B.J. Upton (No. 2 overall in 2002), Jeff Niemann (No. 4 in ’04), Evan Longoria (No. 3 in ’06) and David Price (No. 1 overall in ’07), all of whom are still with the team.

If you haven’t treated yourself to Jonah Keri’s The Extra 2% you really should do yourself a favor and read it.

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Written by jjvedamuthu

May 4, 2011 at 02:39

Posted in Baseball, Rays

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