Pitching Prospect on the Rise in Tampa Bay

By on May 13, 2015

 

Blake-Snell-300x169It’s no secret, the Tampa Bay Rays are one of baseballs best organizations when it comes to developing pitching prospects. David Price, James Shields, Matt Moore,Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, you get the idea. Although Archer was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, he spent three years developing in the Rays system before becoming a mainstay in St. Petersburg.

It is often attributed to the “system” that the Rays employ. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has a solid piece on how the team has historically operated.

Following in the footsteps of those before him, Blake Snell is gaining recognition as he develops in the Rays farm system. Drafted in the supplemental round in 2011 (52nd overall), Snell spent the 2014 season between Single-A Bowling Green, and High-A Charlotte, putting together solid numbers throughout both levels. Looking at his splits, you may feel as though he struggled as a member of the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

However, it appears as though the 21 year-old from Washington simply needed time to adjust. Here’s a look at how he started his 2014 campaign in Charlotte, compared to how he finished…

Blake Snell Stats

2014 Charlotte Stone Crabs

First 6 Starts

Final 10 Starts

Innings Pitched 24.2 50.2
ERA 6.20 2.84
WHIP 1.70 1.26
K 17 60
Record 1-4 4-2

If you believe that his final 10 starts in 2014 appear more in-line with his ability and what can be expected of him; I completely support that judgement.

Snell is dominating so far in 2015.

He started the season back in Charlotte where he put up a 3-0 record, striking out 27 batters over 21.o scoreless innings. This performance earned him a promotion to Double-A Montgomery. Surely he would struggle in his first few starts for the Biscuits, right?

WRONG!

In his three starts for the Rays’ Double-A affiliate, Snell has accumulated 19.o innings, struck out 21 batters, and picked up two wins. This success is not expected from prospects making the jump to a higher level. In addition to those impressive numbers, there are two more that are even more impressive. Teams have only been able to muster six hits against him, and he still hasn’t allowed a run to cross home plate.

40.0 innings pitched, zero runs scored, 48 strikeouts, five wins, and zero losses…That’ll get you noticed!

If he’s able to continue excelling in the minors it’s going to be difficult for the Rays to overlook him in March of 2016.

Follow Kris Dunn on Twitter @KrisDunnDV or catch his contributions on the Rocket Sports Radio Show.

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