The Tampa Bay Rays' minor league affiliates had a good 2013 season overall, with a pair of affiliates advancing to the championship games of their respective leagues.
The Triple-A Durham Bulls won the Governors’ Cup in the International League before falling to the Omaha Storm Chasers in the Triple-A National Championship Game. Similarly, the Charlotte Stone Crabs fell to the Daytona Cubs for the Florida State League Championship.
The Tampa Bay Rays are proud of their affiliate teams’ performances, although the ultimate goal is to develop talent that can contribute to the major league roster.
It is no secret that the Rays do not have the cash resources to spend on big-name players, especially compared to division rivals like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. In order to remain competitive, they have to rely on inexpensive free agents and homegrown talent.
The Rays have had to part ways with players in the past as contracts expired or approached expiration due to their inability to pay market value. Those players most notably included left fielder Carl Crawford, center fielder B.J. Upton and pitcher James Shields.
The team has replaced these slots with young players from the minors, including center fielder Desmond Jennings, right fielder Wil Myers (acquired via trade for Shields) and pitcher Chris Archer.
Here is a list of the top 10 prospects at the conclusion of the minor league season who hope to be in the next crop of young talent on the major league roster.
All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.