Previewing the Hudson Valley Renegades

Image courtesy of sportslogos.net

The Hudson Valley Renegades, New York-Penn League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, finished last season in third place in the McNamara Division with a 38-37 record.  They will play a three game series with the Connecticut Tigers at Dodd Stadium August 4-6.

Kevin Gengler of RaysProspects.com joined Connecticut Tiger Den to help preview the 2010 Renegades.

Stephen Hamel: Is there a chance Luke Bailey plays for the Hudson Valley Renegades this season? Can you give a brief scouting report on him?

Kevin Gengler: It’s tough to say, just because of how unique Bailey’s situation is. Last season’s catchers, Mark Thomas and Mayo Acosta, were promoted, while the rookie-level catchers aren’t really prospects. I would guess Hudson Valley is his destination, though. The Rays took Kyle Lobstein, a high school pitcher, in 2008, paid him an over-slot bonus (like Bailey), and he was assigned to Hudson Valley in 2009 with no pro experience. Whatever the case, he’s likely to split time between Catcher and Designated Hitter as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Bailey’s an athletic catcher, with above-average contact and power tools. He has good footwork behind the plate, and his arm graded out well before the surgery, and is expected to return to that level.

SH: The Rays have a couple of athletic outfielders from Texas in extended spring training in Todd Glaesmann and Cody Rogers. What are the strengths and weaknesses of their games? Do you think one or both of these guys may be assigned to Hudson Valley in June?

KG: Cody Rogers will almost certainly be in Hudson Valley, since he had a strong season in Princeton a season ago. Glaesmann is a little bit similar to Bailey, in that he’s a high school player who got a big bonus. He only played in 5 games in the Gulf Coast League last season, and being as it was the first year the Rays have had a GCL affiliate, there’s no track record to see what they’ll do with guys at that level. My guess would be Hudson Valley, but Princeton wouldn’t surprise me.

Rogers showed he could do a little bit of everything last season. He’s got speed (14 steals), he hit .303, and showed some power. His weakness is the strike out, as he whiffed 54 times in 52 games last season. Glaesmann is big (6’4″ 205 lbs) but athletic. He’s a line-drive hitter with power potential. He’s not as speedy as Rogers, who plays quality defense in centerfield, but Glaesmann’s plus arm and good athleticism make him a decent defender at a corner outfield spot.

SH: Jeff Malm is one of the Rays’ top prospects in extended spring training. Where you you see him spending the 2010 season?

KG: Malm is in the same boat as Bailey and Glaesmann: 2009 high school draftees who signed for an over-slot bonus. He was considered a polished bat coming out of high school, so I’d expect him to start in Hudson Valley. He’s limited to 1st base, which means his bat will need to be his calling card. He should make good contact, but the question is how much power he can hit for with wood bats.

SH: Albert Suarez was Hudson Valley’s opening day starter last year, but Tommy John surgery prematurely ended his season. Any chance he is back in Hudson Valley late in the year? What was his stuff like before his injury?

KG: I haven’t heard anything on Albert Suarez’s recovery, but if he does make it back in 2010, I’d expect it to be in the Gulf Coast League, at least to start out (Jake McGee made 5 appearances there last year coming back from Tommy John surgery). If he comes back early enough, it’s possible he does get assigned to Hudson Valley at the end of the season.

SH: Is there anyone else in extended spring training who could make an impact with Hudson Valley this season?

KG: Trevor Shull showed some promise last season with Princeton. He should make the Hudson Valley rotation and could have a break-out season if his stuff has sharpened. Brian Bryles is another athletic outfielder, but he really struggled last year and should be back with Princeton. Kevin James, the Rays 9th round pick in the 2009 draft, has the stuff to play in the New York-Penn league, but his control and overall game need refinement, so I’d expect him to start in Princeton. Jacob Partridge was outstanding in the GCL, but I’d expect the Rays to take it slow with him as well.

I’d like to thank Kevin Gengler for helping me preview the 2010 Hudson Valley Renegades.

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