This year’s MLB draft will be pared down to just five rounds. That’s bad news for the Rays, who have had ample success drafting players from the sixth round on.
Here are 10 of the best players they got:
RHP James Shields (2000)
WAR (Wins Above Replacement): 31.0
Key Rays starter for seven seasons, All-Star, has the team’s only World Series win.
OF Kevin Kiermaier (2010)
Earned three Gold Gloves (and one Platinum), and a $50 million contract.
OF Desmond Jennings (2006)
Rare power/speed combo highlighted career ended early by injuries.
RHP Jason Hammel (2002)
So-so start with Rays led to solid 13-year career, and World Series ring with Cubs.
C John Jaso (2003)
Had two stints with Rays during a 9-year career limited by concussions.
C Stephen Vogt (2007)
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Rays gave up on his defense too early as he became an All-Star elsewhere.
RHP Dan Wheeler (1996)
Started with Rays, though made bigger impact when traded back in 2007.
LHP Joe Kennedy (1998)
Began career as starter on three bad Rays teams before traded; died at age 28.
LHP Matt Moore (2007)
Playoff win, All-Star pick, 17-win season offset by career-changing surgery.
C Toby Hall (1997)
Spent parts of seven seasons with Rays, still franchise leader in games caught.
Five others of note
• OF Jonny Gomes (2001)
18th round/529th pick, 3.5 WAR
• RHP Jake Faria, (2011)
10th round/330th pick, 0.7 WAR
• RHP Andy Sonnanstine (2004)
13th round/375th pick, 0.4 WAR
• 1B Nate Lowe (2016)
13th round/390th pick, 0.4 WAR
• RHP Austin Pruitt (2013)
9th round/278th pick, -1.0 WAR