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Top Prospect Franco Among Spring Training Invitees

The Tampa Bay Rays Monday announced the signing of a pair of pitchers to minor-league deals with invitations, and invited four additional minor-leaguers to big-league camp, including MLB.com’s #1 ranked prospect, infielder Wander Franco.

Franco spent all of 2020 on the Rays’ Major League player pool, both the 60-man regular season pool and the 40-man postseason roster pool, but was not selected to the active roster at any point. The not-yet 20-year-old last saw game action in the United States with the Charlotte Stone Crabs in 2019, hitting .339/.408/.464 with three homers and 24 RBI in 52 games. Franco played winter ball for the second straight year in the Dominican Republic, playing in five games with Escogido, where he hit .350 (7 for 20), with a homer and a pair of RBI.

Along with Franco, first baseman Dalton Kelly, and catcher/outfielder Brett Sullivan were invited again to big league camp for a second straight season, while infielder Esteban Quiroz was invited to big-league camp with the Rays for the first time.

Tampa Bay also announced that right-handers Yacksel Rios and Adrian De Horta have agreed to minor-league deals with invitations to big-league Spring Training.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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