Rays Draft Central; Day One
Update 10:34 p.m. The Rays picked 3B Tyler Goeddel from St Francis High in California at No. 41, and RHP Jeff Ames from Lower Columbia College at No. 42.
Update 10:24 p.m. The Rays have selected another shortstop tonight in the First Year Player Draft, picking SS Brandon Martin from Santiago High in Corona, Calif at No. 38.
Martin may be a tough sign as an Oregon State commitment, but is also intriguing. According to Baseball America, Martin is a "live athlete with intriguing bat speed and the ability to make highlight-reel plays at short."
Update 9:55 p.m. The Rays are now going to have back-to-back picks, at No. 31 and No. 32. Tampa Bay selected LSU OF Mikie Mahtook at No. 31.
Update 9:18: After waiting over two hours, the Rays finally got to make their first selection in the First-Year Player Draft, picking RHP Taylor Guerrieri from Spring Valley High in Columbia, S.C at No. 24.
Update 8:56 p.m Another intriguing name came off the board, with UConn RHP Matt Barnes going ot the Red Sox at No. 19. The Rays wait is almost over, as No. 24 is quickly approaching.
Update 8:23 p.m Though there was some buzz about the potential of the Rays picking local product, Alonso RHP Jose Fernandez, he was just selected by the Marlins at No. 14.
Update 8:13 p.m After the first four picks being pitchers, six of the next eight were position players. There haven't been too many surprises so far, with half of Baseball America's top 20 prospects off the board. The one player that had a "slide" in the draft was Rice 3B Anthony Rendon, who went sixth to the Nationals (after being the top rated prospect by BA).
Of course, it was Rendon's birthday, and being a top-10 pick is one heck of a present.
Update 7:35 p.m The first position player was taken at No. 5, with Bubba Starling, a high school outfielder from Kansas, going to the Royals and the top-rated hitter in the draft, Rice 3B Anthony Rendon, going No. 6 to the Nationals.
Update 7:20 p.m Pitching continues to rule the top of the draft, marking the first time in history the first four picks were pitchers. UCLA RHP Trevor Bauer going No. 3 to the Diamondbacks. His college teammate, UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole, was the top pick by the Pirates. The Mariners selected Virginia LHP Danny Hultzen.
And RHP Dylan Bundy, the top high school pitcher, went No. 4 to the Orioles.
Update 7:08 p.m. The draft is underway, with the Pirates selecting UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole, a power pitcher ranked the third best overall prospect by Baseball America. The Rays will be waiting a bit, until pick No. 24, likely not for an hour or so.
Developing: The Rays are preparing for a big night, boasting a very unique opportunity in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft in having a record 10 selections on the first day.
Major League Baseball will conduct the first round and the first compensation round (60 picks), beginning at 7 p.m and carried live on MLB Network and MLB.com. Tampa Bay has 12 of the first 89 selections overall as they hope to stockpile talent in their farm system.
The Rays first pick will be No. 24 overall, followed by 31, 32, 38, 41, 42, 52, 56,60, 75 and 89. Tonight will be especially busy, as after the Rays first three selections, the next seven will come in a 22-minute span.
One possibility for the Rays, which would create some buzz locally, is if they select Alonso High RHP Jose Fernandez, who led his team to a state title and is expected to be drafted sometime tonight.
Representing the Rays in Secaucus, N.J. will be special assistant Roberto Hernandez, Class A Hudson Valley manager Jared Sandberg and senior advisor Don Zimmer.
We will be blogging live from Tropicana Field, where the Rays draft "war room" is located, providing updates, insight on players and reaction from Tampa Bay executive VP Andrew Friedman and scouting director R.J. Harrison.
-- JOE SMITH
Guerrieri, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound South Carolina commitment, is ranked the No. 10 overall prospect by Baseball America.