Rays select RHP Taylor Guerrieri in first round, No. 24 overall
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.
Guerrieri, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound South Carolina commitment, is ranked the No. 10 overall prospect by Baseball America.
MLB Network analyst John Hart, the former Indians GM, gave a rave review of the Rays pick. According to Baseball America, Guerrieri had a pretty big rise in his stock this past season, with his stuff and body being at the top of the scale, but alleged makeup issues led to him dropping a little bit. His fastball has reached 97 mph this spring, and he also has a good cutter.
"He's a big future front of the rotation starter," Hart said. "Power stuff right now. A big strong, physical body. This guy is a power pitcher with feel. When you look at it, Tampa got as good an upside pick here, there's no question he was clearly the best player on the board."
As a senior at Spring Valley HS (Columbia, S.C.), Guerrieri went 6-1 with a 1.10 ERA in 9 games this season, including 3 complete games. He allowed just 24 hits and 23 walks while striking out 72 batters in 51 innings of work.
Tampa Bay has an unprecedented haul of first day picks, with 10 in the first 60 (and 12 of first 89). The Rays next selection will be at No. 31.