Corey Ray was one of the most hyped Milwaukee Brewers draft picks in recent memory. He was expected to fly through the Minor League system and arrive in Milwaukee quickly. His development appears to have stalled. What should the Brewers do with their prized prospect?
Corey Ray played 57 games at High-A in 2016. He flashed plus tools at the plate, in the field, and on the basepaths. The speed didn’t slump in 2017, but his bat sure did. Is he due for a breakout in 2018, or is it time to flip Ray for a top starter while he still has value?
What happened to Ray in 2017?
Well, the tools are still there, but the results weren’t. Ray posted a .238/.311/.367 slash line in his second time with the Carolina Mudcats in High-A. He did swipe 24 bases…in 34 attempts. He also only managed seven homers, despite possessing tremendous raw power. His walk rate went up to 9.5%, but his strikeout rate shot up to 31.0%. It was a miserable sophomore season for the Milwaukee Brewers second rated prospect.
Is there hope for Ray in 2018?
There’s always hope when a player has the athleticism that Corey Ray was blessed with. Ray did go to the Arizona Fall League, but he was completely overshadowed by Monte Harrison. Corey Ray went to the plate 74 times this fall and managed a .243/.317/.338 slash line.
Ray has just entered his age-23 season, and is facing a make or break season. His value is still high enough to fetch a solid, Major League-caliber arm in return. However, selling on Ray right now is clearly a ‘sell-low’. The Milwaukee Brewers brain trust isn’t ready to cut ties with Ray only a year and a half after paying him the largest bonus in team history.
Ray is probably going back to High-A to work on pitch and spin recognition, while trying to unlock his prodigious power and otherworldly athleticism. Dealing Ray in 2018 isn’t going to get the Milwaukee Brewers closer to a championship unless he’s part of a package for a legit ace. There are very few legit aces on the market this off season, if any. Having patience and trusting in Ray’s ability, may get the team closer to a championship.