The Rays went 2-3 in their first week of play and find themselves tied for last place in the South division
with the Orioles and are 1.5 games back. The Rays opened with two wins over the Red Sox, but went on
to drop three straight, including two against the Twins. After losing to the Orioles a day before, the Rays
didn’t get a chance to split the back-to-back on Saturday as the game was postponed. The two teams
are expected to make it up on June 29th.
A few players from the 2011 GCL Rays returned this year, and four have already been in action. Johnny Eierman, a 3rd round pick of the Rays in 2011, got off to a hot start going 4-for-15 with three doubles,
three walks, and two stolen bases. To see Eierman back in the GCL is a surprise though, so it will be
interesting to see what the organization’s plans are for him moving forward.
Third baseman Cesar Perez is now into his third year as a GCL Ray, and he has yet to perform up to
expectations. His power potential was intriguing enough to warrant a $1 million bonus back in 2009, but
to this point he has collected just five extra base hits (including one home run) in 91 games as a member
of the Rays, all of which came in the 2010 season. He got off to a pretty good start last week, going 5-
for-15 with a walk and two RBI, but needless to say, this will be a very telling summer for the young
Right-hander Isaac Gil and Czech lefty Stepan Havlicek are back with the team, and the two hurlers
haven’t allowed a run after going three and four innings, respectively, in the first week.
Outfielder Jonathan Quinonez joins catcher Brandon Choate (who is currently on the restricted list)
as the only two players on the roster who played for the team last year that haven’t yet appeared in a
game in 2012.
The New Guys…
With a wave of recent Rays draft picks heading to Port Charlotte over the past few weeks, it will be
awhile before we see some of the organization’s new top prospects in action, at least on a consistent
basis. First baseman Miguel Beltran, the 19th rounder out of Oklahoma City University, played in four
of five games last week and went 3-for-13 with three walks and a run driven in. Lefty Jordan Harrison is
the only pitcher drafted in 2012 to appear in more than one game so far for the Rays, going 0-1 in two
appearances despite not allowing an earned run. Other recent draftees such as SS Benjamin Kline, RHP
Jason Wilson, and RHP Kris Carlson have each played in one game.
The other 2012 picks that haven’t yet seen action with the GCL Rays include Spencer Edwards, Nolan Gannon, Bralin Jackson, Damion Carroll, Clayton Henning, Dayne Quist, Luke Goodgion, Geoff Rowan,
and Nick Sawyer.
Also included in the group of new faces are Dominicans Yoel Aroujo and Jiminson Natera who are
two of three players that have appeared in each of the five games so far and have 19 at-bats apiece.
Natera showed a good bat early, logging six hits including a double, a triple, and a home run. SS Douglas Duran has also appeared in every game, going 3-for-16 with two walks and a pair driven in. Other
notables include catcher Wilmer Dominguez (4-for-11), designated hitter Armando Araiza (4-for-13) and
shortstop Adderly Rosa (5-for-19).
Rays pitching prospects Nick Barnese, Lenny Linsky, and Chris Andujar all made appearances as part of
rehab assignments with the Rays this past week. Barnese and Andujar each tossed five innings, with the
former giving up one run in a winning effort while Andujar allowed no runs in parts of two games. Linsky
also appeared in two games and notched a save on the 18th against the Red Sox.
The Rays are scheduled to begin the week with a pair of games against the Red Sox, but the weather
may have something to say about that. The Rays were rained out on Saturday, and as a result they have
a double-header with the Orioles this Friday. Unfortunately, there may be more postponements in the
very near future.
Brad Lymburner is the GCL Rays beat writer for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @_BradL.
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