Ten potential impact call-ups for Rays in 2021

What are some probable call-up timetables of some of the players who have been optioned down so far?

Here are the 10 Rays prospects likely to begin below AAA that I expect to be impact players if needed in 2021 (due to injuries, trades, etc…).

1. RHP Caleb Sampen (24):

He has potential in-season high-octane and stuff options for Rays pitching staff. Along with well known Joe Ryan, he could seriously amp up the ‘pen’s performance through playoffs and challenge for a permanent rotation spot in 2022.

A taste of how Caleb’s stuff looks now:

2. OF Ryan Boldt (26):

When players go through long-term injuries, it’s easy to lose sight of talents. As we’ve seen this spring, Boldt’s tools are much sharper than most would have anticipated after a long layoff. He hits hard, fields well, and has great at-bats.

3. LHP Michael Plassmeyer (24):

Few saw Josh Fleming’s 2020 performance coming, and the same potential exists in Plassmeyer. Likely to be used in many roles in 2021 to prepare him for potential leap to MLB, he’s a crafty strike thrower to keep a close eye on.

4. RHP Alan Strong (24):

Too many evaluators underrate Strong’s potential to remain in a rotation at the MLB level. Having said that, for 2021, it’s more likely that a sharp looking Strong could earn a ‘pen role if injuries open room up with the Rays. He put in some solid work this winter, and should spend most of the season in AA & above.

5. RHP Shane Baz (21):

Baz could start 2021 in the ‘pen and be highly effective, but the Rays are going to keep pushing him to compete as a starting pitcher and rightfully so. That likely pushes him to a late season option once they’re really happy with his progress.

6. OF Moises Gomez (22):

Still very young and likely one of the top four or five power guys in the system, Gomez could seriously amp up the DH/LF option for Rays and Kevin Cash. Still has a lot of work to do tool-wise to get there, however.

7. C/2B/SS/3B Ford Proctor (24):

Potential versatility is unmatched when it comes to Proctor, and the fact that he’s adopted the catcher position so handily and quickly could make him an intriguing bench option. With an above-average to plus hit tool, he should be on your radar.

8. OF/1B Grant Witherspoon (24):

Altered his stance and it looked outstanding this winter in the ABL, indicating more effective in-game power than ever before. If that translates to above-average perf in AA, he could move to AAA and become a solid 1B/OF/DH option.

9. INF Tyler Frank (24):

A very solid infielder that lost significant playing time in 2019 due to injury after being solidly in the Top 30 after a great 2018. The hit tool plus speed plus versatility work in his favor, and he could move quickly with a hot start.

10. RHP Jordan Brink (28):

The Rays added Ryan Thompson in Rule 5 and he wound up being a very important part of their ‘pen in 2020. In December, they added Brink who can hit 99 MPH and holds significant potential as a high leverage relief pitcher or opener and he’s likely to get a look in 2021.

Published by @Mat_Germain_

I grew up in Montreal, cheering on the Expos through two decades before they left town. In terms of writing, began with a blog - like so many others - and eventually got some experience at FanSided (Jays Journal, RaysColoredGlasses) and SB Nation (DRaysBay). Currently co-hosting "In The Tank" Podcasts with Aiden Pearson and covering a many Rays subjects as possible!

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