Similar to my previous Minor League sets I am going to pick out three players I am excited about in the set. Two are going to be no brainers and I am going to pick out one player to keep your eye out for in the future. Oh, and there's background music for this post. Click on the video, it's Ryan Brett's at-bat music.
The lists on the Rays prospects vary greatly from website to website, but there are two players in this set who consistently show up high on every list:
1. Richie Shaffer- The former Clemson star was the Rays first round draft pick in the 2012 amateur draft. He was drafted as a power hitter, but had a fairly quiet bat his first two years in the minors. Last year he started to come around a bit when he hit 19 dingers in Double A Montgomery. He started out this season in Montgomery again, but after 7 home runs and 10 doubles in just about 40 games the Rays promoted Shaffer to Durham. In 50 games in Durham the third baseman/first baseman has 16 home runs, 11 doubles, and a slugging percentage of almost .600. He played third base in the lower minors, but is seeing more and more time at first. Watch out James Loney, he was called up officially this afternoon. Shaffer has a bunch of other baseball cards in Bowman and Topps products if you are interested in picking up a few. An appearance in the Futures Game this year has really improved his popularity and the price of his cards.
2. Ryan Brett- He's a little spark plug, but a lot of different prospecting publication really like him. The Rays called him up early in the year, he got hurt, and has not really looked right since. He's hit over .300 at almost every stop in the minors, consistently gotten on base, hit for a little pop, and stolen bases. This season he is hitting .220. Brett is still just 23 and has awesome work out videos on YouTube. He's going to bounce back and be a solid baseball player, or perhaps Batman.
and my final name....
3. Taylor Motter- Motter does not have many cards and he's not on any prospects lists. Ask a baseball fan who has watched a Durham Bulls game this year who the funnest player to watch on the field is and you will likely get the answer of Motter. What does he do? He plays everywhere in the field. I think I have seen him play everywhere except first, catcher, and pitcher. He has a little bit of pop, 9 home runs and 33 doubles, speed with 24 steals, and also has cool hair. When he plays in the outfield he does a cool Dan Quisenberry imitation on his last warm up throw. Watching him reminds me a lot of Ben Zobrist. He does a lot well and can fit in just about anywhere on the field. Card companies have not gotten the notice that this guy is good, there aren't many cards of him out there.