A Final Thought on the Latest 40-Man Additions | The Process Report

A Final Thought on the Latest 40-Man Additions

For as much attention as the Rays’ recent draft drought receives, the latest round of 40-man roster additions represents a win for the scouting staffs.

Including Kevin Kiermaier—who required Rule 5 protection but had his contract purchased before the tiebreaker game—the Rays added four players with connections to their 2010 draft class. Jesse Hahn was the club’s sixth-round pick, having tumbled due to injury concerns. Some 14 rounds later, the Rays popped a small collegiate southpaw named C.J. Riefenhauser; 11 rounders after that, they selected Kiermaier—the league’s latest draftee from that year to sign and reach the majors.

But, while those players were homegrown in the conventional sense, Vince Belnome and Kirby Yates defied the odds to get within shouting distance of the show.

There was no reason to expect much when the Rays acquired Belnome last offseason in a minor trade with the Padres. Of course, that Chris Rearick—the club’s 41st-round pick in 2010—intrigued San Diego enough for them to give up anything for his services was a win itself. Not to be outdone, Yates signed with the Rays as an undrafted free agent four years after declining to sign with the Red Sox as their 26th-round pick.

While none of the new members of the 40-man roster are likely to offset the franchise’s recent first-round struggles, it does show the Rays can still unearth the occasional gem.

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