Rays post-draft wrapup
The Rays wrapped up their draft with today's third and final day of picks, and scouting director R.J. Harrison was very pleased with how it all went, considering their unique and unprecedented opportunity.
"I thought it went great and I think the biggest thing we accomplished is exactly what we set out to accomplish, add a lot of really good prospects," Harrison said. "It was a unique opportunity with all those extra picks to add a lot of what we think are good prospects, and that's what we want."
Spring Valley High (S.C.) RHP Taylor Guerrieri, who still hasn't spoken with the media, heads that list, being the 10th best player overall in the draft. LSU CF Mikie Mahtook also drew a lot of excitement. On today's third day, from rounds 31-50, Harrison said the focus was selecting players they could add to the rosters of their minor league teams, and of the 20 or so picks, "there's probably a dozen at least of those guys that are a lot of college seniors that we're going to give opportunities."
Though Harrison said there haven't been any players signed yet, "there's a lot of them we feel pretty confident about, pretty close."
"But like my wife tells me, I told her the other night it looks pretty good," Harrison said. "And and she said, 'Well, get back to me when you get them signed.. Now that the picking is done and the work starts."
That includes with the Rays top selections. Harrison said the Rays have been in contact with Guerrieri, and he plans to make a trip to South Carolina next week to meet with him and his family. He'll also go to the Cape Cod area and see Gonzaga LHP Ryan Carpenter. Rocco Baldelli will make a trip to see Mahtook too. Harrison appeared pretty confident that first round pick, SS Jake Hager (Sierra Vista High) would be able to be signed after he graduates from high school.
"We're all anxious and you want to get them out playing," Harrison said. "But sometimes it takes a little bit more time than we would (like) in an ideal situation. It just takes a little bit more time."
Among the locals the Rays drafted was USF INF Jonathan Koscso, who is in a unique sitation, having already been accepted to medical school. But Koscso, who plays three infield positions, said he's ready to give his pro career a shot first, and work out a deal with USF to have his acceptance deferred.
"Baseball has always been my No. 1 passion, ever since I was four years old," he said. "I don't want to give it up just yet."