Remember The Names: Adam Russell, Brandon Gomes & Dane De La Rosa | The Process Report

Remember The Names: Adam Russell, Brandon Gomes & Dane De La Rosa

Though we have been waiting for the Rays to invest in some proven major leaguers for their 2011 bullpen, the team has compiled an impressive number of younger arms that could make an impact sooner than later. After the high-profiled candidates like Jake McGee and Alex Torres, there is a group of lesser known minor league arms that could see some major league action this upcoming season.  With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than three weeks, here are a just few names to keep an eye on this spring.

Adam Russell

Because he is out of options, and he was arguably the key piece in the Jason Bartlett trade, Russell will be on the opening day roster barring injury.  The near seven-footer brings heat in the mid-90s and has whiff-inducing secondary stuff. He gets groundballs in bunches and has a knack for sapping the extra-base power out of opposing hitters. Without a “proven” closer, Russell may end up finishing more games than people expect.

Brandon Gomes

Also acquired from the Padres in the Bartlett deal, Gomes is nearly a foot smaller than Russell; however, his strikeout numbers are even more impressive than his larger teammate. The two-pitch reliever has been one of the best strikeout men in the minor leagues despite lacking overpowering stuff and size. Since he was drafted at 23, he has always been a bit older for his level and he repeated the Double-A level last year. He’ll most likely start the season in Durham, but at age 25 the Rays have no reason to wait if he continues to produce.

Dane De La Rosa

A former farmhand of the New York Yankees, the Rays found De La Rosa playing independent ball last year and signed him for the 2010 season. He spent most of his time at Double-A, producing above-average strikeout numbers and a stellar groundball rate. His fastball reaches the mid-90s and his curveball is a decent second offering.  Similar to Gomes, he’ll probably start the season with the Durham Bulls, but because of his age (28) there is no need to hold him back if he can fill a role in 2011.

And remember, each of these pitchers will have full profile in the upcoming TPR11.

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