Baseball America’s Top 100 MLB Prospects is the natural progression into a new baseball season. This list is considered the most accurate and is the most respected amongst fans and players. Six Rays players landed on this year’s list: Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames, Brendan McKay, Jake Bauers, Jesus Sanchez and Wander Franco.

Brent Honeywell is the highest ranked Rays player at 14. He has been in the Rays minor league system since he was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft. He started 24 games for the Durham Bulls posting a 12-8 record and 152 strikeouts. Now that he is fully healthy, I could see him battling for the third or fourth spot in the rotation. He needs to improve on his command but has plenty time to do so. He is only 22-years-old.

Willy Adames is another Dominican star in the making. The versatile shortstop split his time at second and short in his first season with Durham averaging a .964 fielding percentage. He had spurts of power hitting, recording 30 doubles and 62 RBI’s. He had a slight fall off after being ranked 10th in last year’s rankings. Don’t be surprised if he gets playing time at third with the departure of Evan Longoria.

Listed as a left-handed pitcher and first baseman, Brendan McKay is the second highest ranked two-way player on the Top-100 (behind Ohtani at No. 2 overall). McKay is the highest ranked first baseman on the list. McKay has the skill set to become both an elite hitter and an above-average starting pitcher but he may have to focus on just one in the future.

Listed as a first baseman and outfielder, Jake Bauer’s spend last season playing all three outfield positions, first base and even some DH for the Durham Bulls. He posted 31 doubles and 63 RBI’s. Between McKay and Bauers, the Rays have the two highest ranked first basemen in the Top-100.

Outfielder Jesus Sanchez was a dominant force in Class-A Bowling Green last season. At just 19-year old, Sanchez recorded 29 doubles, 15 home runs and 82 RBI’s. Sanchez has the gift of fast hands and should develop into a power outfielder.

Wander Franco was the top international prospect in the 2017 class. As a switch-hitting shortstop with superb hands and smooth swing, Franco comes from a bloodline of ballplayers. No wonder the Rays signed the sixteen-year-old to a four million-dollar deal.

The trading of Evan Longoria this off-season initiated yet another Tampa rebuild. If Tampa stays on this track, these prospects will be soon become the focal point of the Rays organization.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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