Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays to stick with best-player-available strategy in next week's draft

ST. PETERSBURG — With 10 of the first 60 picks (and 12 of the first 89) in next week's draft, the Rays can consider a variety of strategies as they take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity to stock their farm system with premium prospects.

But, top team officials said Tuesday, their basic philosophy won't change.

"We're still going to focus on the best player available," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "We've spent a lot of time, (scouting director R.J. Harrison) and his staff have done a tremendous job evaluating these players, getting the information on their makeup and everything, so that collectively we can put them in order, and I can't see a reason why we would stray from that."

So though it could make sense to take chances on higher-risk/reward prospects, or gamble on a few seeking excessive bonuses, or spend a few picks to fill specific needs, or stock up on arms given the depth of hard-throwing pitchers, the Rays say they will simply focus on the top player on their board, starting with the No. 24 pick.

Since it will take four to five years to see how they did, and their needs may change, the Rays will focus on adding premium prospects to their already deep farm system.

"That's the goal every year, to add as many good guys as we can," Harrison said. "We just get more swings this year."

LOCAL TIE: Harrison was reluctant to be specific on any prospect, especially one who could be a first-round pick, but called Alonso High pitcher Jose Fernandez "a good prospect" and said "certainly we've seen him, we've scouted him, we've done a good job evaluating him."

Tampa Bay Rays to stick with best-player-available strategy in next week's draft 05/31/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 11:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But it still turned out to be a bad idea as he allowed four runs without getting through three innings.

  3. Rays journal: Dugout bench becomes bed for Logan Morrison at end of long night

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays found creative ways to get through the physical and mental fatigue of the 6½ hours they spent playing — and ultimately winning — Sunday's game in Minnesota.

    Corey Dickerson drapes towels over an exhausted Logan Morrison in the dugout during the 15th inning of Sunday’s marathon victory.
  4. Rays at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Arlington, Texas

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Rangers

    8:05, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 2: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2015 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
  5. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]