Five players ranked among the top 30 Tampa Bay Rays prospects (according to Baseball America) are starting the season with the Bowling Green Hot Rods, including all three starting outfielders.
In fact, Baseball America ranks all three of those outfielders among the top 10 Rays prospects. Josh Lowe is ranked No. 6, Jesus Sanchez is ranked No. 7, and Garrett Whitley is ranked No. 10. Both Lowe and Sanchez split last season between Tampa Bay’s rookie-level teams in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues, while Whitley played in the short-season New York-Penn League.
Lowe batted .249 with 5 HR and 26 RBI in 54 games. Baseball America describes him, in part, as “a left-handed hitter with plus bat speed and the leverage to generate plus raw power.”
Sanchez batted .329 with 7 HR and 39 RBI in 56 games. Baseball America says he “has an array of tools, but his offensive potential is his most exciting asset.” He projects to have plus power and is an above-average runner.
Whitley batted .266 with 1 HR, 31 RBI and 21 SB in 65 games. Baseball America says he has elite bat speed and plus raw power, runs very well, and has above-average arm and range in centerfield.
Eleardo Cabrera is also in the outfield mix. He batted .311 with 7 HR and 36 RBI in 60 games with the rookie-level Princeton Rays last year.
Two Hot Rods infielders also are ranked Rays prospects: shortstop/third baseman Adrian Rondon (No. 14) and shortstop Lucius Fox (No. 16). Rondon, whose best attribute is his raw power, showed improvement last season when he batted .249 with 7 HR and 36 RBI in 52 games with the Princeton Rays. Fox — half-brother of Kane County Cougars shortstop Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ No. 5 prospect — batted only .207 and made 32 errors in 75 games with the Augusta GreenJackets (the San Francisco Giants’ Low-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League) last year, so he hopes to improve on that and impress his new organization.
You can read more about the Hot Rods roster here.
You can read about Bowling Green’s coaching staff here.