Tampa Bay Rays Make 7 Picks on Day 2 of MLB Draft


Jun 18, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels player Michael Russell (5) during their College World Series game against the LSU Tigers at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Dave Weaver-USA Today Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays made seven more selections today at the 2014 MLB draft.

After selecting Casey Gillaspie 20th overall yesterday, before adding Cameron Varga and Brent Honeywell later in the evening, the Rays moved forward today by drafting a variety of high school and university prospects.

The Rays made the following picks today:

[table id=8 /]

  • Burke reportedly hits 89-93 on his fastball and also has a changeup, slider and curveball in his repertoire. He has a commitment to play baseball at Oregon , but according to this report, “he is definitely leaning towards signing with Tampa Bay and starting his professional career.”
  • Here’s a small scouting report on Bivens courtesy of MLB.com: Bivens has skyrocketed up Draft boards within the last year after showing much more consistent velocity and an incredible curveball. Bivens will sit 90-92 mph with his fastball, touching 93, with very good tailing action at lower velocities. Many already consider his curveball a plus pitch and a difference-maker at the next level due to its tight rotation and late, downward movement. Bivens has been able to get by in high school without a changeup and will need to add one in order to remain a starter in pro ball. Bivens is a very advanced pitcher for his age and has shown an impressive feel for pitching, but needs to improve his command as he moves forward.
  • Here’s what they had to say about Russell: Russell is the quintessential scrappy college shortstop. None of his tools grade as better than average, but scouts love the way he plays the game and think his work ethic and versatility could translate into a big league role as a utilityman. Though Russell didn’t perform well with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer, he rebounded with a strong spring. He has a short, quick right-handed stroke and does a fine job of controlling the strike zone. He has more pop than most middle infielders and can hit mistakes out of the park. With average quickness and fringy range, Russell won’t be an everyday shortstop at the next level. But he has enough athleticism, instincts and arm to play almost anywhere on the diamond. If he’s going to become a regular, it would be at second base.
  • James is a solid defender behind the plate and can also play some third base. He also has a pretty good bat.
  • Franco is only 5’11 but has a solid build. His fastball can hit 95 but usually settles in the low 90’s. Also has an above average slider.

Rounds 11-40 take place tomorrow, but don’t expect much in terms of scouting reports.