Rays Prospect Watch: Stock Rising (5/14/12)

In this new weekly feature, we take a look at the notable performances from the past week down on the Rays farm and what players have seen their stock rise. This week: The Stone Crabs Mikie Mahtook looks to be adjusting to professional pitching, Bowling Green's Josh Sale starts off his season with a bang and Durham's Chris Archer continues to show good things on the hill.

OF Mikie Mahtook---Charlotte Stone Crabs: .500 AVG, 9-for-18, 3 RBI, 3 R

Mahtook has gotten off to a slow start to begin his professional career, but he is showing signs of figuring things out recently. The 2011 first-rounder recorded 9 hits last week and has a five game hitting streak including four multi-hit efforts. The power has yet to surface, but that could also be said for the majority of the Stone Crabs this season. He has flashed his speed on the bases however, and is second only to the recently promoted Ty Morrison on Charlotte with 9 stolen bases. With 126 at bats now under his belt, Mahtook has had ample time to see Class A pitching and the talent and desire say that he continues to hit from here on out.

OF Josh Sale---Bowling Green Hot Rods: .354 AVG, 5-for-14, 3 BB, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R

Although Sale's 2011 season was nothing to get excited about, it still came as somewhat of a surprise when the 2010 first-round pick was left behind in extended spring training to start the 2012 campaign. It was no secret that Sale needed to work on his approach and swing, and thus far, the extra work he put in at Port Charlotte has yielded immediate results. The Seattle native has provided an instant spark to the Bowling Green offense and has looked like a completely different hitter at the plate. We all know that Sale possesses light-tower power, but with a 5-to-3 BB/K ratio since his call-up on May 4th, it looks like he has a new approach at the dish and may be back on the right track towards becoming the great hitter he has the potential to become.

RHP Chris Archer---Durham Bulls: 2 GS, 12 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 5 BB, 14 K

Archer has been getting better with every start since his disastrous 9 run-outing on April 13th. While he still has a ways to go to harness his control, his walk totals have slowly been trending down the past month. He has gone 5 straight outings of giving up less than three runs and his BB/K rate is now 28-to-40. With the move of Alex Torres to the bullpen because of command and control issues, it seemed for awhile this season that Archer might be joining him at some point. However, his recent performances on the mound give hope that the 23-year-old may be finally putting it all together and for now at least, there is no reason to think that he won't some day soon start at Tropicana Field.

RHP Jake Floethe---Bowling Green Hot Rods: 2 GS, 11 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 8 K

Jake Floethe pitched 11 scoreless innings last week and allowed a meager three hits. After starting off the season in similar fashion, the Californian had a rough three-start-stretch, but seems to be back in form atop the Hot Rods rotation. For qualifying pitchers, Floethe's season ERA of 3.27 is good enough for fifth in the Rays system and he leads farmhands in Wins with five. There were a lot of hyped young pitchers in the system coming into the season, and Floethe was rarely mentioned as one of them. Thus far however, Floethe has shown that he is a pitcher that is on the rise in the Rays organization and his 2012 season to date has been nothing short of impressive.

RHP Matt Buschmann---Montgomery Biscuits: 1 GS, 6.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 K

I'd be remiss to not mention Montgomery's Matt Buschmann's masterpiece on Friday that saw him take a no-no into the 6th inning and ended with him sending 12 Jacksonville hitters back to the dugout on strikeouts. The 28-year-old minor league veteran of seven seasons is slowly starting to get comfortable in Montgomery and although he doesn't profile as a true "prospect", different players take different roads to get to the majors. An outing like that doesn't come from nowhere, so maybe Buschmann is one of those super-sneaky, under-the-radar minor league signings that the Rays organization is so famous for.

John Gregg is Publisher and Senior Editor of Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @RaysDigest. He can also be reached via e-mail at raysdigest.com@gmail.com.


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