Draft morning update
With the Rays picking 17th and 31st, there's no way to know for sure until the draft is underway tonight who they are going to end up with. But the experts at Baseball America work harder than anyone these days, and today's latest projection from Jim Callis and the BA staff has the Rays first taking Miami C Yasmani Grandal, who had been rumored to have a pre-draft deal with the Royals, and then Georgia Tech SS Derek Dietrich.
17. RAYS. Tampa Bay doesn't lack for much in the way of talent, but it does need a catcher. The Rays may not want to haggle with Grandal, but he would fill a need and he will go somewhere in the first round. They'd have interest in DeShields, Josh Sale and Skole, with Alabama's Reggie Golden possibly the next high school outfielder on their list.
PROJECTED PICK: Yasmani Grandal.
31. RAYS. As with No. 15, this bonus pick for failing to sign a first-rounder last year won't draw compensation if the Rays don't sign this year's pick. So Tampa Bay figures to take a player it knows it can sign, such as Bettis, Dietrich, Gyorko, Jenkins or Minnesota catcher/outfielder Mike Kvasnicka, who's no longer generating early first-round buzz. The Rays also could cut a discount deal with Canadian high school catcher Kellin Deglan or California prep outfielder Michael Lorenzen.
PROJECTED PICK: Derek Dietrich.