Previewing the Draft
The draft starts in a few hours. Here’s a look at three players tied to the Rays at no. 13.
Walker Buehler RHP Vanderbilt
Polish is Buehler’s main marketable attribute. He’s succeeded against SEC-level competition thanks to his feel and control over a broad arsenal that includes a low-to-mid-90s fastball, curveball, slider, and inconsistent changeup. The main knocks on Buehler are his size and arm action. He’s listed at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds—or about 15 pounds lighter than either Chris Archer or Jake Odorizzi—which begets concerns about whether he can withstand a big-league workload. Buehler also has an uptempo delivery (often confuse for effort) and some recoil in his follow-through. He should move quickly. (On an unrelated note, he has a sense of humor about his last name, nominating Matthew Broderick as the actor who would play him in a film.)
Jon Harris RHP Missouri State
Despite coming from a smaller school, Harris shares some similarities with Buehler: both are skinny righties with broad arsenals and doubts about their long-term viability. (Another difference: Harris is two inches taller than Buehler.) Harris’ issues stem from how his arm drags and how he falls off toward the first-base side. Still, he has the chance to throw three or four average or better pitches, making him an attractive choice for a team that believes in the delivery. Harris will turn 22 in October, making him the oldest of the three by nearly a year.
Andrew Benintendi CF Arkansas
A draft-eligible sophomore who projects to have five average or better tools, Benintendi used last summer to gain 10 to 12 pounds in good weight. The resulting power surge against SEC-quality competition has upped his stock to the point where he probably won’t be available when the Rays pick.