Brad Hand Sweepstakes: The Tampa Bay Rays

Credit: USA Today Sports

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Credit Tampa Bay Times


Now let’s take a look at some names that make a little more sense than Adames in terms of a potential deal.

Jesus Sanchez

A few spots down the Rays’ list of top prospects in this young man. The left-handed hitter and right handed thrower out of the Dominican Republic has a very nice ceiling. He has never finished a season hitting under .300 in his minor league career and owns a .317/.357/.502 slash line in 801 at bats. Sanchez is still only 19 and performing well in Single-A where he is currently hitting .298 with 11 homers and 61 RBI in 85 games. He would help solidify the Padres positional depth at the lower levels, but is highly touted by the Rays as the young outfielder is ranked #75 on the top-100 list in all of baseball.

At 6′ 3″ and 210 lbs, this young man is still growing into his swing. The power is starting to show as his 11 bombs this season equal what he put up in his first two years of pro ball. Sanchez has excellent speed and is only beginning to refine his defensive abilities. He has an above average arm and there is still a possibility he could play center, but he looks to be more of a right fielder at this point. Sanchez for Hand is right about on par as far as equal value, but the Padres will surely command another prospect to get a deal done. Or would they?

Lucius Fox

While Adames might be unattainable, there are other options at shortstop within the Rays’ organization. Lucius Fox is an interesting option, as the speedster has the ability to be someone special on the diamond. The switch hitter has a decent line-drive stroke from both sides of the plate. He has little to no power presently, but his game is about getting on base and making things happen. Fox stole 27 bases this season in Single-A, while hitting .278 with 45 runs scored. He has since been promoted to High-A where he is off to a 5-12 start there.

Fox just turned 20 and is making some real progress. A foot injury slowed him last season, but he has shown that he is indeed a top of the order threat. His defense at short remains a question mark at this point though. He has the range and arm strength, but his footwork is a bit suspect presently. Some scouts envision him in center field eventually. Either way, his bat should allow him to climb the ranks pretty easily. Fox would be a nice addition for the Padres, but he alone would not be worth the value of Brad Hand. Fox and Sanchez together would be a nice deal for the Padres for Brad Hand. But they are probably asking for more for the lefty.

Credit: USA Today Sports

Austin Franklin

A large right handed pitcher with a decent floor is what Franklin provides. He has the ability to generate strikeouts, but at this point needs to refine his mechanics and his control. The 19-year-old was the Rays 3rd round pick in 2016 out of high school. The hurler has excellent size (6′ 3″ 215 lbs) and plus stuff out on the mound. He could really develop in time, but is still very raw. Franklin has a low to mid 90’s fastball with excellent heavy sink. He also features a plus curve and a serviceable change up. Both secondary pitches and their potential indicate that he should remain a starting pitcher.

This season, in A-Short ball, he is 1-2 with a 2.64 ERA in six starts. In those 30.2 innings, he has allowed 22 hits, walked 16 and struck out 35 producing a 1.24 WHIP. Franklin is currently the Rays 12th ranked prospect. He is no slouch and is highly regarded by Tampa. He is still a few years from pitching in the high minors, but the ability is there. Preller could have some fascinating with this kid. His makeup and work ethic are reportedly very high on the charts.

Ryan Yarbrough

This left-handed pitcher is just about major league ready and could be an interesting option for the Friars. At 25, he is no young pup. Yarbrough was drafted by the Mariners in the 4th round of the 2014 draft out of Old Dominion. He was dealt to the Rays with Mallex Smith and Carlos Vargas for Drew Smyly in January of this year. Yarbrough has started throughout his minor league career, featuring a mid-90’s fastball and a decent change. His slider is a work in progress and is described as slurvy.

In Triple-A this season, Yarbrough is 10-5 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 20 games. He has struck out 123 batters in his 121 innings, while walking 33. With numbers like that, he would have probably been given a chance already to start a major league game. However, the Rays are presently loaded at starting pitchers and this lefty is behind names like Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon on the depth chart. His best chance is on another franchise. The Padres might enjoy him as he is ready now for major league service time.

1 thought on “Brad Hand Sweepstakes: The Tampa Bay Rays

  1. Personally, I like the idea of a Brad Hand for a package of Lucius Fox, Garrett Whitley, and either Genesis Cabrera or Yonny Chirinos.

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