Blake Snell’s last start went like this. He completed his 4th career Triple-A start. Snell threw 5 scoreless innings and struck out 9 batters while only walking 2. Snell is the Rays number 2 prospect (top pitching prospect) and has moved up the minor league rankings very fast this season. He started as the Rays number 12th prospect and moved up 10 spots.Snell started the season at high Single-A. He pitched in only 4 games and got promoted after pitching in 21 innings while having an ERA of 0.00 with a 3-0 record. After that stellar start to the season he was bumped up to Double-A. In Double-A he pitched in 12 games while earning a 6-2 record with a 1.57 ERA and punching out 79 batters. Next, he was moved up to Triple-A. So far in Triple-A he has pitched in 4 games and has a record of 2-2 with an ERA of 1.42 ERA. He struck out 29 batters with more to come. So overall, He has been untouchable and dominating in every minor league level this year. Snell overall season between all 3 levels add up to a 11-4 record with 135 K’s, 45 walks, 1.24 ERA in 108.2 innings of work. Snell has lots of control of his pitches as you see with the amount of walks. He can make batters swing and miss with that great ERA and opponent batting average of .174.
In addition, when the Rays took Snell in 2011 with the 52nd overall pick, Snell looked very raw and could have been a long project, but Snell made steady progress through the Minor Leagues while physically maturing and improving as a pitcher before making a huge leap forward in 2015 by starting the year with 46 consecutive scoreless innings and pitching across three levels. Also, Snell gets good life on his low-to-mid 90s fastball. He has developed a good feel for his off speed stuff. His slider and changeup both have the potential to become good secondary pitches. As dominant as Snell has been, there’s still room for improvement, both physically and on the mound.
The Rays patience for developing pitchers has reaped significant rewards in the past, and Snell could eventually give them a similar payoff. Snell will be called up when the roster expands on September 1st. He could be the big help in the bullpen to help lead the Rays to the post-season.