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)

With top draft pick again, Rays' choice not as clear-cut

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week until the June 5 draft, the Rays say they still have five players under consideration for the top pick.

Unlike last year, when Vanderbilt left-hander David Price was their obvious, and unanimous, choice at No. 1, this decision is open to debate. And the Rays plan to have one.

"There isn't someone who's really separated themselves like David did last year," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "So there's people with mixed opinions, and it's going to be a very active debate."

The five — in the order scouting director R.J. Harrison listed them, for what that's worth — are Florida State catcher Buster Posey, Griffin (Ga.) High shortstop Tim Beckham, Patriot High (Riverside, Calif.) catcher Kyle Skipworth, University of San Diego lefty Brian Matusz and Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez.

"This group, this year, I think it's pretty evenly balanced," Harrison said. "I can make a case for every one of those five guys."

Friedman acknowledged that three of the five are "more realistic," but declined to specify them. Posey and Beckham are two. Alvarez may be the third, though Matusz could be an interesting option.

The winnowing — which they say won't be based on the organization's current positional needs (catcher) or signability issues (Alvarez is rumored to be seeking a lot) — will continue into next week.

"There's no formula to it," Harrison said. "I spend a good deal of every day with those guys ricocheting around in my head."

Baseball America projects the Rays to take Beckham. His father, Jimmy, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette his son expects to be taken either first by the Rays or second by the Pirates.

With top draft pick again, Rays' choice not as clear-cut 05/29/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 30, 2008 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose


    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”