With the thirteenth overall pick in the draft, the Rays have selected outfielder Garrett Whitley out of Niskayuna High School in New York. Whitley's mock projections varied greatly before the draft, with reports slotting him anywhere between the first pick and seventeenth pick in this year's draft. The Diamondbacks were thought to have interest in Whitley with the first overall pick, hoping to sign him to an under-slot deal.
Whitley, 18, is the first player ever selected out of Niskayuna, which is located just north of Albany. He is a rare breed, considering he is a first-rounder from a cold-weathered state, and hopes to join fellow New Yorkers David DeJesus, Mike Aviles, Dellin Betances, and Tom Koehler in the major-leagues.
MLB.com ranked Whitley as the seventeenth-best prospect in the draft, citing his advanced speed as his best tool and his above-average offensive game. Whitley also possesses some power from the right side of the plate and plenty of arm strength that makes him a strong candidate to play center throughout his professional career.
For the Rays, the addition of Whitley is likely aimed to replenish a farm system that does not have an outfielder among its top ten prospects and is considerably shortstop-heavy.