1. Rays

Rays Tales: Where the Rays' players were drafted

Steve Geltz: The Angels signed the reliever as a nondrafted free agent to be an “arm protector.”
Steve Geltz: The Angels signed the reliever as a nondrafted free agent to be an “arm protector.”
Published May 3, 2015

Since there is, for some reason, a lot of talk about the draft this weekend, it seems appropriate to look at how the current Rays got here, with players on the disabled list noted by asterisk and players signed first by the Rays in bold:

First-round picks

1B James Loney: 19th overall, 2002, by Dodgers

3B Evan Longoria: 3rd overall, 2006, by Rays

• An ideal 1st-round pick: signed quickly, moved fast, starred long term

INF Tim Beckham: 1st overall, 2008, by Rays

• Long path and comparisons to other picks well-told, but finally showing skill

RHP Jake Odorizzi: Supplemental, 32nd overall, 2008, by Brewers

• Traded in deals for Zack Greinke (2010) and James Shields (2010)

INF Logan Forsythe: Supplemental, 46th overall, 2008, by Padres

RHP Brad Boxberger: Supplemental, 43rd overall, 2009, by Reds

• Acquired with Forsythe (and RHP Matt Andriese) in January 2014 trade for RHP Jesse Hahn and LHP Alex Torres

INF Nick Franklin: 27th overall, 2009, by Mariners

Rounds 2-5

C Rene Rivera: 2nd round, 2001, by Mariners

RHP Kevin Jepsen: 2nd round, 2002, by Angels

• Spent 1st six years without getting past Class A, has been in majors for 7-plus

LHP Drew Smyly: 2nd round, 2010, by Tigers

OF Steven Souza Jr.: 3rd round, 2007, by Nationals

INF Ryan Brett*: 3rd round, 2010, by Rays

DH/OF David DeJesus: 4th round, 2000, by Royals

• From same draft class as Yadier Molina, Cliff Lee, Rays 1B coach Rocco Baldelli

RHP Alex Cobb*: 4th round, 2006, by Rays

LHP Jake McGee*: 5th round, 2004, by Rays

RHP Chris Archer: 5th round, 2006, by Indians

• Traded twice before getting to majors; did Indians and Cubs not know what they were missing?

OF Brandon Guyer: 5th round, 2007, by Cubs

Rounds 6-20

LHP Matt Moore*: 8th round, 2007, by Rays

• Has already pitched in playoffs and All-Star Game, now recovering from Tommy John surgery

LHP Jeff Beliveau*: 8th round, 2008, by Cubs

OF Desmond Jennings: 10th round, 2006, by Rays

DH/OF John Jaso*: 12th round, 2003, by Rays

RHP Nathan Karns: 12th round, 2009, by Nationals

• Got $225,000 to sign out of Texas Tech, didn't make pro debut until June 2011 due to shoulder surgery

RHP Burch Smith*: 14th round, 2011, by Padres

RHP Brandon Gomes: 17th round, 2007, by Padres

Rounds 20 and beyond

LHP C.J. Riefenhauser*: 20th round, 2010, by Rays

LHP Xavier Cedeno: 31st round, 2004, by Rockies

OF Kevin Kiermaier: 31st round, 2010, by Rays

INF Jake Elmore: 34th round, 2008, by Diamondbacks

C Bobby Wilson: 48th round, 2002, by Angels

• Seminole High product isn't lowest-round pick to play for Rays; Travis Phelps did as 89th rounder in 1996

Non-drafted free agents

RHP Steve Geltz, signed by Angels 2008

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• Signed for $3,500 out of University of Buffalo as an "arm protector" to cover innings for high-round picks, made majors in 2012

RHP Kirby Yates*, signed by Rays 2009

• Pretty good return for $1,000 bonus and plane ticket from Hawaii to join rookie ball team in West Virginia

Foreign players not subject to draft

INF Asdrubal Cabrera, Venezuela, signed by Mariners, 2002

RHP Ernesto Frieri, Colombia, signed by Padres, 2003

RHP Alex Colome, Dominican Republic, signed by Rays, 2007

• 1st player to reach majors from team academy since 2006

RHP Erasmo Ramirez, Nicaragua, signed by Mariners, 2007

Coaching staff

Manager Kevin Cash, not drafted, signed by Blue Jays in 1999

1B coach Rocco Baldelli, 1st round (6th overall), 2000, by Rays

Bullpen coach Stan Boroski, 20th round, 1981, by Brewers

Bench coach Tom Foley, 7th round, 1997, by Reds

Pitching coach Jim Hickey, 13th round, 1983, by White Sox

3B coach Charlie Montoyo, 6th round, 1987, by Brewers

Asst. hitting coach Jamie Nelson, 8th round, 1978, by Mets

Hitting coach Derek Shelton, not drafted, signed by Yankees in 1992

Short stops

• The Orioles had a point in asking the Rays to shift a later home series to Baltimore in return for the weekend series being played at the Trop. And the Rays were right to say no. Sensitivity is mandated given the events that transpired in Baltimore leading to this series' relocation, but this wasn't the Rays' fault. MLB and the Orioles chose to play at the Trop over Philadelphia, Washington and other sites, O's manager Buck Showalter calling it "the best solution of all things considered." The Rays already incurred expense and inconvenience coming home for the weekend. They shouldn't have had to take a further hit by making further travel changes and giving up a July weekend series (which includes one of their bigger concerts, Kacey Musgraves) or a late September weekend matchup that could be playoff pivotal. Though some Orioles players chirped, Showalter said he fully understood the Rays not wanting to flip-flop: "That's not fair to Tampa. Those are their home dates, and they've got things planned for their fans." Now, what the Rays could do is make a donation to a worthy Baltimore charity.

• If Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg really wanted to be devilish, given the ongoing stadium stalemate in St. Petersburg, he could have (should have?) sought to play these games at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Or in Montreal.

Joe Maddon is talking conciliatorily after MLB found no proof of the Rays' "unfortunate" claims of tampering by the Cubs in his hiring, telling the Tampa Bay Times he was "happy it's all over" and "just happy to move on." Maddon told Chicago media he got "some pretty good man hugs" when running into some members of the Rays ownership group during the spring, he keeps in touch with "a lot of different" Rays people via text and phone, he's "very happy" to see they are doing well, and is eyeing an eventual reunion of the '08 team. "From my perspective, there are zero hard feelings," he said. Still doesn't seem like top Rays officials are going to be hugging back.

Rays rumblings

Former Rays RHP Kyle Farnsworth is playing, and enjoying playing, tackle football as a defensive lineman for the Orlando Phantoms in the Florida Football Alliance. … New Balance on May 30 will introduce an Evan Longoria-branded line of athletic shoes: the 530 Blackout. … Rene Rivera made a visit last week to the New York set of his favorite TV show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, tweeting photos with stars Ice T, Mariska Hargitay and others. … Pedro Martinez writes in his upcoming book, Pedro, the "only regret" in his Hall of Fame career was throwing then-Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground during the 2003 ALCS scuffle. … One benefit for the Rays of the weekend series against the Orioles being relocated to the Trop: They got to keep their $100.50 a day in meal money.

You make the call

INF Jake Elmore:

On his favorite baseball player all time: I grew up a huge Braves fan, so Chipper Jones was always just my favorite. He could do no wrong.

On his favorite current player: Josh Donaldson. I admire his leg kick, I think that's what it is. I enjoy watching him play.

On his favorite road city: San Francisco. The city is awesome, there's a lot to do. And it's so much fun playing there, because it's always cold and it's always packed.


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