Think he'll get a cup of coffee in September?
Think he'll get a cup of coffee in September?
He better! He is a great hitter that is in contention for BA's minor league player of the year.
joe (tampa): What is the latest with David Price?
Jim Callis: Still very quiet, but I still think he'll sign a big league deal worth $6 million or so in the last couple of days before the deadline.
RotoRHP Wade Townsend has been shut down at Single-A because of elbow problems.
A first-round pick in 2005, Townsend underwent Tommy John surgery last year and skipped a start earlier this season because of elbow issues.
,Jonathan (Tampa, FL): Wouldn't it make sense for the Rays to move Jeff Niemann to the bullpen? He has great stuff, 4 pitches, and the Rays have a surplus of starters: Kaz, Shields, Price, Jackson, Sonnanstine, Hammel, Talbot, Davis, McGee, Hellickson, Mason... He can't stay healthy for 125 innings and he could be very dominate out of the pen, a Joe Nathan type of dominating closer. Am I crazy or is this a good idea? Thanks!
Keith Law: I think that's his destination at this rate. He really can't stay healthy, and I know several teams took him off their draft boards in 2004 because of his medicals.
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/askba/264748.htmlI've been dying to see a scouting report on Ryan Royster, who had that big home run streak at low Class A Columbus a few weeks ago. His strikeouts and walks aren't good, but his other numbers and his age (21) at least suggest he might be a real prospect. Is he?
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Royster has been on fire in August, homering in six consecutive games and going deep 12 times in 23 games so far. That brings his season totals to .324/.375/.589 with 28 homers and 95 RBIs in 120 games. Not bad for his debut in a full-season league after spending his first three years as a pro in Rookie and short-season ball.
A sixth-round pick out of an Oregon high school in 2004, Royster was just 17 when he signed, so the Devil Rays have brought him along slowly. He has legitimate power and once hit a 470-foot tape-measure shot in high school. His 115-34 K-BB ratio is a sure sign that he'll have to tighten his strike zone to hit at the upper levels, and his speed and outfield defense don't stand out. But Royster's righthanded power does, and it could carry him to the big leagues.
I just asked this question:Kyle(Brockport, NY): If the Rays get the 1st overall pick, who will they draft?
Keith Law: (2:19 PM ET ) Tough spot, because there's no solid pitcher who's a #1 overall candidate. Best college arm is Brian Matusz, a lefty with three plus pitches (60 or better on the 20-80 scale), but his delivery is bizarre and I'd be scared about a shoulder injury.
Double-A Montgomery RHP Wade Davis allowed three runs on eight hits over 52/3 innings, striking out eight and walking two Friday. Montgomery's 6-3 win over Jacksonville clinched a playoff spot. ... Durham LHP J.P. Howell struck out 10 Friday and threw seven innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits. ... The team released its instructional league roster. Included is first-round pick LHP David Price, Montgomery pitchers Davis and Jake McGee as well as Montgomery pitcher James Houser, who is serving a 50-game suspension for failing a drug test.
It's nice to see Jason Pridie finally having a break-out season. Took him long enough (even though he's still only 23). I thought he was going to be a great pick and he was very close to being a bust.
I don't know about GG, but he can sure swing the bat.3B Evan Longoria got USA Today's Rays minor-leaguer of the year award, and heaping praise from Montgomery manager Billy Gardner Jr., who told the Advertiser he'll be a big-league "impact player, an All-Star" and likely a Gold Glover.
I can't wait until we have an infield of:
Which Devil Ray lefthander do you think has the higher ceiling, Scott Kazmir or David Price?
East Hanover, N.J.
Interesting question, pitting Kazmir, who was an all-star last year at age 22 and currently ranks third in the American League in strikeouts, against Price, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. Both have huge ceilings, and Kazmir is further along the path toward reaching his.
Yet I'm going to select Price. Both guys have outstanding fastball-slider combinations, but I think Price's superior feel for pitching will make the difference. He has a better changeup, along with better control and command, and he can get hitters out with both power and finesse.
Both Kazmir and Price are frontline starters, and in the near future the Devil Rays will have the best pair of lefty starters in the majors. They'll have the best trio as well, as Jacob McGee is close to being ready for the majors.
Alan (St. Petersburg): Do you think the Rays, at this point, ought to seriously look at packaging some of their prospects for a front-line major-leaguer, say a solid No. 2 or 3 starter? Are they close enough to competing to be thinking about the short term?
Jim Callis: I think the Rays would be willing to do that, but teams just aren't trading No. 2 or 3 starters.Jaques (Houston, TX): Alan, as a Twins fan I'd give Santana for Upton and Longoria. Jim, is that a bad non-fantasy trade?
Jim Callis: Not at all. To get two young high-ceiling low-cost guys like that would be fair, if the Twins decide they can't keep Santana.Greg (Boston): Does Tampa do that Santana deal, considering they probably won't be able to keep him?
Jim Callis: I doubt they would, as Santana alone wouldn't make them a contender. I think if Santana gets dealt, the team that gets him will want to work out a contract with him before finalizing the trade.
.Brad (Gadsden,Alabama): Will David Price be in the Devil Rays rotation in the middle of next year?
Jim Callis: No. Let's say Opening Day 2009. No incentive to rush him.
Jeff Niemann’s 2007 season can be viewed two ways. The half-full approach holds that Niemann entered the season with 108 career innings as a pro and had a successful year for Triple-A Durham because he made only one disabled list trip (for minor shoulder fatigue) and set all kinds of career highs, most importantly with 25 starts and 131 innings pitched.
The half-empty viewpoint emphasizes the fact that Niemann still throws a four-seam fastball in the 94-96 mph range and has a plus slider, yet allowed 144 hits (a .277 opponents average) and posted a 3.96 ERA. In other words, he didn’t dominate–in fact, he made only one start longer than six innings, and it lasted seven innings.
Last night, in the International League’s Governor’s Cup finals, Niemann showed he can still dominate. The 6-foot-9, 280-pound righty threw a season-high eight innings, struck out nine without a walk and scattered six hits in the Bulls’ 5-1 victory against Richmond, evening the series at a game apiece. Devil Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman called the game Niemann’s best effort as a professional, and the numbers backed him up.
The keys for Niemann were working around a first-and-third, one-out jam in the first with a strikeout and popout, and working in a split-finger fastball to lefthanded hitters. Niemann’ shorter outings this season often have stemmed from high pitch counts when he struggles to put hitters away with two strikes. He hasn’t had the fastball command or consistency with his slider to put people away like he did during his All-America career at Rice, but the split-finger gave him another weapon Wednesday night, one he used to overpower the R-Braves.
When Niemann was drafted third overall in 2004, he seemed a candidate to move quickly to the majors, but injuries (groin, shoulder, elbow) have slowed his timetable. In the interim, the Rays have developed impressive pitching depth in the minors, led by the Double-A tandem of righthander Wade Davis and lefthander Jacob McGee, and they drafted David Price first overall in June.
Now Niemann is throwing his best baseball in mid-September and has logged 144 innings, counting two playoff starts. In other words, he’s shown he’s quite close to being ready to help the Rays’ big league rotation, where he should settle in eventually as a middle-of-the-rotation starter–one who can dominate when it all comes together, as it did Wednesday.
Paul (Orlando): Keith, I'm a Rays' fan who has run out of Jasper Ffforde books and is stuck in the doldrums of another 66 win season. Is there absolutely anything positive to look forward to in the win column next year or am I stuck taking solace in Longoria, Price et als development again?
Keith Law: I think they'll pick up 5-8 wins just on development and the assumption that they'll spend a little money to add some back-end pitching. I figure they'll be players in the second-tier pitching market.Mike(TampaBay): Reid Brignac what's your take?
Keith Law: Still at least a year, maybe two, away. Talented, but rough around the edges, and I'm concerned about how long his swing gets, and how he doesn't keep his head on the ball. Watch where he sets his bat up, way up behind his head and above his shoulder. It's hard not to be long when you start all the way back in Yakutsk.
Rob (CT): Who wins rookie of the year in 2008? NL and AL.
Keith Law: Longoria in the AL. NL ... good question, no single player jumps out at me. Bruce doesn't seem to be in line for a starting job right now. Upton doesn't qualify any more. Rasmus might be a dark horse if they give him the CF job.Doug (Tampa): Rays starting rotation in 2009 (on their way to the playoffs) would be: Kazmir, Shields, ____, _____ and _____? Keith Law: You're right, sorry. You could put David Price in there. It might be too optimistic for Davis of McGee to up and in that early, and I think Niemann's going to the pen sooner or later.Mike(Tampabay): Where does Jeremy Hellickson fit in with the Rays future rotation. He had a strong year in fullseason ball.
Keith Law: Two to three years off. Very promising.