Make us your home page
Instagram

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 working hard to prepare for potential draft bonanza

Now that that draft is out of the way — no offense to Mssrs. Clayborn, Bowers, Foster or any other future Buc — it's time to focus on the one that could shape a Tampa Bay franchise for a decade to come.

With 10 of the first 60 picks in the June draft and 12 of the first 89 (all by the end of the second round) — a result of the free-agent exodus from the Rays, looming changes to the draft process and one of the deepest talent pools in years — the Rays have an unprecedented opportunity to stock their organization with the potential impact players that are vital to their chances to compete.

And, with five weeks to go before the June 6-8 draft, they are in the midst of a massive scouting effort to take maximum advantage of their opportunities.

"Because of our revenues and the competition we face, the amateur draft is arguably more important to us than to any other club, and this year's draft is easily the most important in our history," executive VP Andrew Friedman said. "The number of high picks we have is literally unprecedented. It's a tremendous opportunity for us, and we're devoting more energy and resources to the process than we ever have."

The only previous team with close to the number of early picks the Rays have is the 1990 Expos, who had 11 of the first 84. They ended up with seven big-leaguers, though only one real standout, OF Rondell White. Their other picks included INF Shane Andrews and LHPs Chris Haney and Gabe White.

The Rays are looking — and willing to spend the requisite millions — to do better and are considering myriad possibilities. "We're not locked into any one specific profile, and we're keeping an open mind in getting as many looks as possible at the top talent in the country," Friedman said.

"Every pick is its own opportunity, and we're going to look for the best talent that we can each time it's our turn. Our goal is to come away from the first two rounds with 12 players who can be significant contributors in the American League East."

Tampa Bay Rays working hard to prepare for potential draft bonanza 04/30/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 30, 2011 6:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

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

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.