Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Rays’ Wander Franco again named Baseball America’s top prospect

Four other Tampa Bay prospects are among the top 100, down from eight in 2020.
Rays minor-league prospect Wander Franco participates in an optional workout ahead of Game 1 of the Wild Card Series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 28, 2020, at Tropicana Field.
Rays minor-league prospect Wander Franco participates in an optional workout ahead of Game 1 of the Wild Card Series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 28, 2020, at Tropicana Field. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jan. 18

ST. PETERSBURG — Wander Franco is expected to do special things when he gets to the major leagues.

The Rays’ promising 19-year-old infielder already has joined some rare company, just the fourth player to twice be named the top prospect by Baseball America going into a season. The other three? Longtime stars Andruw Jones, Joe Mauer and Bryce Harper.

Franco was one of five Rays ranked among Baseball America’s top 100 prospects, released Monday. While that matches the third most of any team (behind the Padres’ 7, and the Blue Jays’ and Marlins’ 6), it is down from the eight the Rays had ranked in 2020, when they topped the list and were named the best farm system in the game.

Here are the Rays’ prospects ranked this year, with more details from Baseball America here:

No. 1 Wander Franco, SS

No. 17 Randy Arozarena, OF (still meets BA prospect status despite 2020 debut)

No. 23 Luis Patino, RHP (acquired from Padres in Blake Snell deal)

No. 56 Vidal Brujan, 2B

No. 100 Shane McClanahan, LHP

Of the eight Rays who were ranked last year, two who dropped out were pitchers dealing with injuries, lefty Brendan McKay and right-hander Brent Honeywell. Also dropped — after a 2020 season in which they didn’t play thanks to the minor-league season being canceled — were infielder Xavier Edwards and pitchers Shane Baz and Joe Ryan.

Here is how the Rays ranked on the 2020 list:

1. Franco, SS

14. McKay, LHP

18. Patino, RHP (then with Padres)

51. Brujan, 2B

71. Baz, RHP

80. Honeywell, RHP

83. McClanahan, LHP

85. Edwards, 2B

98. Ryan, RHP