Trio of Rays prospects play in Futures Game

Trio of Rays prospects play in Futures Game

SAN DIEGO -- Willy Adames, Chih-Wei Hu, and Ryne Stanek represented the Rays at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which started off the All-Star Game festivities on Sunday at Petco Park. The World Team beat the U.S. Team, 11-3, to win the heralded prospect exhibition for the first time in seven years. 

Adames and Hu were part of the World Team's roster, while Stanek represented the U.S. Team.

Adames, 20, is a shortstop who came to the Rays from the Tigers in the 2014 David Price trade. At Double-A Montgomery, he is batting .266 with eigth homers and 36 RBIs as the three-hole hitter. Adames is known as a good athlete with good hands. He started for the World Team and went 0-for-2, striking out and grounding into a double play.

Box score

"Willy Adames has skills and intangibles," Rays director of Minor League operations Mitch Lukevics said. "At the ripe age of 20, he's at Double-A, way ahead of his age curve. Like I said, skills and intangibles. That's a wonderful combination."

Some have speculated that Adames will eventually shift to third base or second. When asked if Adames still projected as a shortstop, Lukevics replied, "Absolutely."

Hu, 22, came to the Rays last season at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in the deal that sent Kevin Jepsen to the Twins. The right-hander's command and stuff project him as a back-of-the-rotation starter in the Major Leagues. Hu also plays for Montgomery, where he is 2-6 with a 2.51 ERA in 15 starts.

Top Prospects: Hu, TB

"We got him in a trade with Minnesota, and he hasn't disappointed with expectations," Lukevics said. "He's a pitcher. What I mean by that, he has a good repertoire of pitches, good stuff, mixes those pitches up on any count, fluid delivery and likes to compete."

Hu impressed on Sunday, pitching a clean inning with two strikeouts. Of his eight pitches thrown, seven were strikes.

Stanek, 24, was not as sharp, allowing four runs on one walk and fve hits -- including a homer -- in pitching the ninth. He also struck out one.

Stanek showed quality stuff during his college career at Arkansas, but a combination of a subpar junior season and concerns about a hip injury caused him to fall to the end of the first round of the 2013 Draft. He underwent hip surgery after signing, which kept him from throwing a professional pitch for nearly a year. Stanek has since moved to the bullpen with Triple-A Durham and done well. 

Top Prospects: Stanek, TB

"The bullpen is definitely going to be a good fit," Lukevics said. "He was injured a lot early in his career. Our biggest challenge was trying to keep him healthy. Get him some innings. Now, we feel like we've got him in the right role as he's making an adjustment to the bullpen."

During Spring Training, Stanek opened eyes with a fastball that can hit 100 mph.

"You can't teach that," Lukevics said. "He came with some natural ability. … He has a bright future."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.