Today’s prospect watch goes to Rays’ middle infield prospect, Riley Unroe. Riley was selected back in the second round, 60th overall in the 2012 MLB Draft. The Rays have to be happy with the man they selected and I truly am, as I just went to three of the four games that the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs played in against the Tampa Yankees. Riley Unroe stood to me, but to the crowd as well.
Next, Riley Unroe was drafted as a shortstop and can play there, but the Stone Crabs are using him in Port Charlotte at second base, which I think fits him perfectly. He has incredible range, as he was making backhand jump throws up the middle half the time. He made one error, but everyone does. He makes all routine plays and makes strong throws to first base no matter the distance. His above-average speed, great instincts, and soft hands are more reasons why he can make those Brandon Phillips like plays. When I watch him play the field, I think of Boston Red Sox All-Star, Dustin Pedroia. Both guys are short and move the same way. Unroe stands at 5’10” and weighs in at 180 pounds.
In addition, the 20-year-old second baseman is an average hitter. He is going to be a better hitter over time, but you will take what he gives you at this moment. Not to much power to his name, but one game that I did go to, he drilled a three-run shot that could of landed onto Dale Mabry Highway (famous in Tampa), if the column in right field was not there. He is a switch hitter that hits well from both sides of the plate by making solid contact that drives the ball to all parts of the field. He can steal 10 to 20 bags a year with his speed.
Meanwhile, after this series, his season stats are sitting quite nice. He has hit four home runs and drove in 20 RBIs in 192 at-bats. His slash line sits at .266/.347/.406 in 50 games. He also has stolen 10 bases to go along with his 2016 season.
Finally, If all goes well this year, he will find himself playing in Double-A and he will be in Double-A next year to start the season.