News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Tampa Bay Rays News

News » Wieters, Price lead cavalcade of stars


Wieters, Price lead cavalcade of stars


Wieters, Price lead cavalcade of stars
A year ago, it was outfielder Jay Bruce and third baseman Evan Longoria.

This year, it's catcher Matt Wieters and lefty David Price.

The Norfolk catcher and Durham pitcher rank one-two in Baseball America's Top 100 prospects, and like Bruce and Longoria a year ago, both may be out of the International League by the time their respective teams make their appearance at Coca-Cola Park later this season.

Bruce, ranked No. 1 last year, was hitting .364 in 49 games for Louisville when he was summoned to Cincinnati, where he hit .254 with 21 home runs in 108 games.

Longoria played just seven games at Durham before being called up to Tampa Bay, where he won the A.L. Rookie of the Year award and helped the Rays reach the World Series.

Wieters, in only his second pro year, is No. 1 this season and could be in Baltimore by the time Norfolk hits the Lehigh Valley on June 27.

The Rays stashed Price, one of their postseason heroes, at Durham to avoid the temptation to overuse him, so he may still be with the Bulls when they arrive on May 21.

At least 10 of the top 40 prospects on Baseball America's list are expected to open the season on IL rosters.

The league also welcomed back the Mets after a two-year exile to New Orleans. They landed in Buffalo, which lost Cleveland to Columbus and its new Huntington Park.

"I know there's a lot of clubs looking forward to having the Mets back simply because of their appeal," IL president Randy Mobley said. "I would think that [Lehigh Valley] would be one of them."

Washington, bumped out of Columbus by the Indians, in turn, bumped Toronto out of Syracuse, ending a 33-year relationship. The Blue Jays were forced to align with Las Vegas.

For the second straight year, the league has a new franchise -- Gwinnett. The Atlanta suburb lured the Braves' top team out of Richmond, leaving Virginia's capital out of the league for the first time in 59 years.

jeff.schuler@mcall.com

610-820-6781

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE STARS ON THE RISE

SS Gordon Beckham, Charlotte (Chicago White Sox) ? The eighth pick in last year's draft, Beckham has played just 14 pro games, hitting .310 with 3 HRs and 8 RBIs at Single-A Kannapolis last year.

RHP Michael Bowden, Pawtucket (Boston) ? Only 21, Bowden was 9-4 with a 2.33 ERA at Double-A Portland; had a 3.38 ERA in seven appearances with Pawtucket; and beat the White Sox in his major league debut in 2008.

RHP TOMMY HANSON, Gwinnett (Atlanta) ? The 22-year-old was a combined 11-5 with a 2.41 ERA between Myrtle Beach and Double-A Mississippi, with 163 Ks in 138 innings; struck out 49 in 29 IP in the Arizona Fall League.

OF AUSTIN JACKSON, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (New York Yankees) ? The Yanks' top prospect hit .285 with 33 doubles, 5 triples, 9 HRs, 69 RBIs and 19 steals last year at Double-A Trenton.

OF Matt LaPorta, Columbus (Cleveland) ? The key acquisition in the deal that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee last year, LaPorta hit .279-22-74 between Huntsville and Akron before playing in the Olympics.

OF Fernando Martinez, Buffalo ( New York Mets ) ? Only 20, Martinez is considered the organization's No. 1 prospect despite not playing more than 90 games in any of his first three pro seasons.

OF ANDREW McCUTCHEN, Indianapolis (Pittsburgh) ? Regarded as the Pirates' center fielder of the future, he hit .283 with 34 steals last year with the Indians.

RHP MARK MELANCON, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (New York Yankees) ? Touted as the next Mariano Rivera, Melancon was 8-1 with a 2.27 ERA at three levels last year coming off Tommy John surgery and helped Scranton/W-B win the Governors' Cup.

LHP David Price, Durham (Tampa Bay) ? The Rays stashed Price, who has a 12-1 minor league record (not to mention a win and a save in last year's ALCS and a World Series appearance), at Triple-A to monitor his innings. He may not be with the Bulls when they get to Coca-Cola Park on May 21.

RHP CHRIS TILLMAN, Norfolk (Baltimore) ? The youngest pitcher in Double-A last year, the 21-year-old, acquired from Seattle in the Erik Bedard deal, was 11-4, with a 3.18 ERA and 154 Ks in 136 IP for Bowie.

C Matt Wieters, Norfolk (Baltimore) ? Baseball's top prospect according to Baseball America, all he did in his first pro season was hit a combined .355 with 27 HRs and 91 RBIs between Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie last season.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 10, 2009

tampa-bay-devil-rays-vs--boston-red-sox--7-04-06
Tampa Bay Rays Photos
All the latest Tampa Bay Rays Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright © Devilrayshome.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.