Rays reassign Adames, De Leon
Top prospects move to Minors camp; Indians' send Mejia to Double-A
By Michael Leboff / MiLB.com
After an extended look at Spring Training, Rays top prospect Willy Adames has been optioned to the Minor Leagues.
The 21-year-old shortstop headlines a list of seven players, including highly touted right-hander Jose De Leon, who were reassigned Wednesday.
Adames hit .222 with a homer and four RBIs in 18 at-bats this spring. Despite the move, Rays manager Kevin Cash liked what he saw from the young shortstop.
"It's not ideal for a young player who is used to getting everyday at-bats, and obviously he wants to -- they all want to -- come in and have success," Cash told MLB.com. "We really try not to evaluate too much on the results, but just the way he continued to work, his at-bats were solid. We've got a special player that we're looking forward to seeing here soon."
De Leon, MLB.com's No. 33 overall prospect, was 0-1 with an 17.18 ERA in two Grapefruit League starts. Over 2 2/3 innings, he surrendered seven runs on four hits -- including a homer -- and three walks with three strikeouts. Before joining Adames at Minor League camp, he'll pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
The Rays also reassigned pitchers Chih-Wei Hu, Jacob Faria and Hunter Wood, trimming their roster to 42 players. Still in big league camp are No. 4 prospect Jake Bauers and No. 5 prospect Casey Gillaspie.
In other roster moves, the Indians assigned No. 2 prospect Francisco Mejia to Double-A Akron. The 21-year-old catcher had an impressive showing in Cactus League play, hitting .421 with two homers and eight RBIs in 19 at-bats.
"I thought the time here was really good for him," Indians manager Terry Francona told MLB.com. "He got to be with [first base coach and catching instructor Sandy Alomar Jr.] for a month. He got to catch some of the Major League pitchers. I think he knows that his skills, although he has some developing to do, that it can translate into helping a Major League team."
Last year, Mejia batted .342 with 11 homers and 80 RBIs in 102 games between Class A Lake County and Class A Advanced Lynchburg. He put together a 50-game hitting streak across the two levels that matched the fourth-longest in Minor League history.
The Tigers sent four players to Minor League camp, including seventh-ranked prospect Mike Gerber and No. 16 prospect Myles Jaye.
Among a flurry of moves by the Reds, top prospects Aristides Aquino (No. 6), Luis Castillo (No. 7), Tyler Mahle (No. 10), Keury Mella (No. 19) and Nick Travieso (No. 21) were assigned to Minor League camp.
And the Yankees optioned third baseman Miguel Andujar, their 10th-ranked prospect to Double-A Trenton while assigning right-hander Chance Adams (No. 8) to Minor League camp.