Monday, April 26, 2010

Rhyne Hughes: Baseball America 2008

Tampa Bay Rays #28 Prospect in 2008 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

"Hughes was drafted by the Pirates in the 50th round in 2003 and committed to Mississippi before leading Divison II juco players with 18 homers in 2004. After turning down Pittsburgh as a draft-and-follow, he signed with the Rays but hit just .250 with 11 homers in his first two pro seasons.

He became one of the system's biggest surprises in 2007, leading the Florida State League in batting before he was promoted to Double-A at the end of July. FSL observers compared him to Keith Hernandez and James Loney, and managers rated him the best defensive first baseman in the circuit.

Hughes works the count until he gets a pitch he can handle, preferring stuff on the outer half that he can drive to the opposite field. He's strong but he may need to pull the ball more often to provide the power teams want at first base. A two-way player in junior college, he also has a strong arm for his position. Hughes was hit in the face by a pitch and missed the last week of the season, but he's fine now and will return to Double-A to start 2008."

Hughes is unranked in the 2007, 2009 and 2010 Baseball America Prospect Handbooks.

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