Raymond celebrates after a Rays win (Photo Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

2012 Fish Watch: Tampa Bay Rays - 7/31 Update

The first thing you need to know about The Fish Watch is that it’s not a list of sleepers. It is instead a list of players at various points in their respective minor league journeys that for one reason or another have piqued my interest enough that I am watching their development more closely than the bulk of prospects out there. To read more about this project, check out the introduction and master list.

This is the second round of updates in this series so I will not rehash why each player made my list but you can always go back and read previous installments of the series. While doing the installments by division worked the first time around, I’m going to go team-by-team from this point forward.

Tampa Bay Rays (S2S 2012 Rays Team Prospect List)

SS – Brandon Martin (18) – Rays 2011 1st Round Pick (Supplemental)

2011 – GCL Rays: 0.255/.386/.340, 2 XBH, 5 SB, 7 BB and 12 SO in 57 PA
2012 – Princeton (Rk): 0.234/.303/.426, 7 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 7 SB, 12 BB and 30 SO in 155 PA

Notes – Martin has had a rough month of July hitting 0.216/.290/.371 in 107 PA and has been mired in a 6-35 slump in his last 10 games. His 0.268 BABIP for the month was in the range of the 0.278 mark he put up during the month of June when he hit 0.273/.333/.523.

His numbers were down this month as a result of an increased K% – from 12.5% to 22.4%. Based on his balls in play ratios, when he did make contact at the plate during the month, the quality of that contact just wasn’t there. Martin hit nearly twice as many infield pops (11) as he did line drives (6) and his GB% was up nearly 8.3% as well.

While the Rays certainly hope his bat will develop, and there’s no reason to anticipate that it won’t at this point, it was his glove that got him drafted in the supplemental round last year and it is his glove that will carry him forward in his career. With plus range and an above average arm there is little question about his ability to stick at SS as he matures.

OF – Joshua Sale (20) – Rays 2010 1st Round Pick

2011 – Princeton (Rk): 0.210/.289/.346, 11 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 4 SB, 23 BB and 41 SO in 239 PA
2012 – Bowling Green (A): 0.259/.398/.500, 5 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 5 SB, 39 BB and 46 SO in 211 PA

Notes – Sale hit 0.353/.485/.765 with 13 BB and 12 SO in 68 PA during the month of May but that is a distant memory at this point. After a down, but still passable, month of June he’s slipped to 0.167/.364/.313 in 66 PA for July. On the positive side of things, despite his struggles he’s drawn 16 walks in 16 games this month.

His chances to reach the majors hinge almost completely on his ability to hit for power and average. He showed a flash of what he is capable of during the month of May, but outside of that month, his monstrous raw power hasn’t been present in game action. He’s young and still has plenty of time so there’s no need to panic. The Rays started rebuilding his swing last season and it’s going to take some time for their young prospect to adjust and adapt.

1B – Cameron Seitzer (22) – Rays 2011 11th Round Pick

2011 – Princeton: 0.285/.407/.498, 14 2B, 11 HR, 6 SB, 43 BB and 46 SO in 268 PA
2012 – Bowling Green: 0.300/.381/.426, 29 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 1 SB, 39 BB and 55 SO in 355 PA

Notes – Heading into the 2011 draft the book on Cameron was that he was a line drive hitter with power to the gaps. What we’ve seen from him so far in 2012, that report was spot on. Seitzer’s 29 2B tie him for 3rd amongst all hitters in A-ball (both the Midwest and South Atlantic Leagues) but his 2 HR are light years away from the leader board in that statistic.

July has been his best month of the year with a 0.356/.429/.553 slash line, but he really hasn’t had a truly bad month. His 0.177 ISO in July marks the third straight month it has increased while his K% and BB% have remained fairly stable considering the expected variance in monthly splits due to sample size.

He may be relegated to 1B as a professional, and he may lack the home run power teams tend to covet from their corners, but Seitzer was born to hit and hit consistently. That, coupled with his already present affinity for doubles, makes him a valuable commodity in any organization.

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For more on the Tampa Bay Rays, check out Rays Colored Glasses

Tags: Bowling Green Hot Rods Brandon Martin Cameron Seitzer Joshua Sale Princeton Rays Tampa Bay Rays

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