The Tampa Bay Rays are still a team built on pitching.
Take, for instance, Friday’s second round of the draft, when the Rays drafted nine arms, including eight right-handed pitchers.
The Rays, who started the draft with a third baseman and two outfielders, came back with right-handed pitcher Austin Franklin, right handed pitcher Easton McGee, right-handed pitcher Mikey York, right-handed pitcher Zack Trageton and right-handed pitcher J.D. Busfield. The Rays threw a change-up in the eighth round with left-handed Kenneth Rosenberg. They then came back to take Peter Bayer in the ninth round. In the 10th round, the Rays finished with Spencer Jones, a — what else? — right-handed pitcher.
“It was somewhat random by chance,” Rays’ scouting director Rob Metzler said of taking so many pitchers. “We were excited. We thought we added some pitchers with starter profiles with size. Good, clean arms. We are excited to put them in the system and see what happens.”
Franklin, McGee and Trageton are all high school players. The rest are from college baseball.
The draft concludes today.