With the 2021 MLB Draft closing in, we wanted to take a look back at the history of the GRB Rays in the Draft. The Rays have had three players selected in two of the last three MLB Drafts.
The MLB Draft, scheduled for July 11th-13th in Denver, features several former Rays players with receiving buzz as potential draft picks. Tanner Kohlhepp and Trevor Tietz both have been up to 96 mph and have vaulted up draft boards in recent weeks. Kohlhepp was recently named to the D1baseball.com All-American team after his stellar junior season helping Notre Dame advance to an NCAA Super Regional.
The GRB Rays have had eleven players selected in the MLB Draft since their inaugural season in 2010, beginning with Danny Jansen’s selection by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 16th round of the 2013 Draft. Since that 2013 Draft, 10 other Rays have been chosen by Major League teams, including Jeren Kendall’s selection in the 1st round (23rd overall) of the 2017 Draft.
Three Rays have been selected out of high school (Jansen, Kendall and Nate Scantlin), with two of them signing a professional contract before heading to the college level. Kendall chosen in the 30th round in 2014, decided to attend Vanderbilt University, improving his draft stock by 29 rounds.
On August 13th 2018, Danny Jansen made his Major League debut with the Toronto Blue Jays, going 2-for-3 at Kansas City. In another first, Jansen slugged his first Major League home run the next evening.
Jansen spent the rest of the 2018 season with the Big Club, finishing with a .288 (20-for-81) batting average, three home runs, six doubles and eight RBIs and 12 runs scored.
In his first full season with the Blue Jays, Jansen played in 107 games compiling a .207 batting average with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. Perhaps Jansen’s greatest contribution came behind the plate where he was name a 2019 Gold Glove Award finalist in the American League.
Overall, the GRB Rays have had five former players selected inside the Top-10 rounds, including two chosen in last years draft. Clark Eagan was the first Rays player to land in the Top-10 rounds after he was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates after his junior season at Arkansas. Scott Schreiber was chosen by the Houston Astros in the 9th round of the 2018 draft after his Golden Spikes Finalist season at Nebraska.
Connor Wollersheim was picked in the 8th round by the New York Mets and Rudy Rott was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 9th round on the 2019 draft. Rott was coming off his second-consecutive MAC Conference Player of the Year Award for Ohio University. Rays alum Cade Bunnell was selected in the 40th round by the Atlanta Braves.
In 2018, Simon Rosenblum-Larson was taken in the 19th round out of Harvard. In two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Rosenblum-Larson has compiled a 2.36 ERA in 99 career innings, striking out 136 batters while only allowing 63 hits. At the conclusion of the 2019 season, Rosenblum-Larson was selected to play in the prestigious Arizona Fall League with the Salt River Rafters.
Below is a list of all former GRB Rays player to be selected in the MLB Draft: