Scouting Notes: Rays' Top Picks On Display

PORT CHARLOTTE - The Rays have long held the reputation for having a relentlessly talented and deep farm system. Keeping that title has become more challenging, however, as the success of the big league team has put them in a lower drafting position. But, Tampa had a boatload of early draft picks in 2011, and this many early selections give them a chance to successfully restock their lower levels.

Tyler Goeddel, 3B

Of all those compensation picks the Rays made in 2011, it still looks like Goeddel may be the cream of that crop. While some of the other picks have looked raw, to say the least, Goeddel looks like a far more advanced hitter than most players his age.

Goeddel also still shows outstanding athleticism and a step above average foot speed, but it is indeed the bat that sets him apart. That combination of upside and athleticism to go with his hit tool made him a very attractive prospect last June. On Wednesday, Goeddel showed his consistency at the plate once again. He drove the ball hard twice, most impressively on a hit and run where he stayed back on a breaking ball and lined a hard shot to right field.

Goeddel's quiet, fast hands are what make him what he is. He has the ability to get fooled, and still keep his hands back enough to drive the ball with authority to the opposite field. Most hitters at this stage, when fooled, don't have that ability. This type of skill at the plate should allow Goeddel to make an immediate impact at the plate as a professional.

Johnny Eierman, SS

There's a lot to like about Johnny Eierman's raw ability and athleticism. On the other hand, there's also a lot he has to work on. Eierman's swing is not especially fluid right now and he looks to be a little pull conscious.

Eierman showed some good things in terms of speed and defense but his approach and swing mechanics will be a work in progress. He looked vulnerable to off-speed offerings in Wednesday's game action and has a tendency to bail a little early with his front side.

Granden Goetzman, OF

Goetzman has what scouts commonly refer to as a two-part swing. He has an ultra-athletic frame and clearly possesses all the ingredients to be an impact type talent. But, there's work to be done in terms of turning him into a true hitter.

Working from an open stance, Goetzman's stride and hands just do not appear to be working together right now. He tends to look mechanical, in other words. He does show outstanding, plus bat speed but for him to make hard contact pitchers needs to make a mistake on the inner third. Aside from that zone, there are holes to be exploited.

Jake Floethe, RHP

A sixth round selection in 2011, Floethe has the ability to advance in the minors rather quickly. He spun a good upper 70s curveball on Wednesday and showed off a lively 90-92 mph fastball, reaching 93 a handful of times.

Scouting Baseball Top Stories