06/06/12 12:30 AM ET
Speedy athletes highlight Rays' second day
By Greg Zeck / MLB.com
Tampa Bay selected Spencer Edwards in the second round and five center fielders in the first 12 rounds on Tuesday. Five pitchers and two catchers were also picked by the club.
"That's kind of how things shake out, and it kind of fell our way," Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison said. "Spencer Edwards, [Andrew] Toles -- those guys are premium runners."
Harrison said that at least two of the outfielders selected will report to Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley and rotate with Minor Leaguer Deshun Dixon.
"They'll just rotate around the outfield, and that'll prepare them for what we do in the big leagues," Harrison said.
Toles, Tampa Bay's third-round selection, is a center fielder from Chipola College who may have been passed over by some teams because of character issues; he was dismissed from the Tennessee Volunteers program. Harrison said that was not the case with the Rays, who spoke to Chipola's coach, Jeff Johnson, to ensure the outfielder will remain focused on the game.
"There was nothing of any real concern," Harrison said. "He's real good on the field."
One obstacle that many teams saw throughout the day pertained to new rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. More high school players were left on the board because of concerns about signability. The Rays dealt with that firsthand, drafting just two high school players among their final eight picks on Tuesday.
Below is a rundown of all the Rays' Day 2 selections:
Spencer Edwards, SS, Rockwall HS (Texas): The Longhorn commit was a two-sport athlete in high school known for his speed.
Andrew Toles, CF, Chipola College (Fla.): The Tennessee transfer had 32 stolen bases on the season and batted .387 with a .565 slugging percentage.
Nolan Gannon, RHP, Santa Fe Christian School (Calif.): The righty went 10-1 on the season and is committed to play for San Diego State. He was Tampa Bay's first pitcher chosen.
Bralin Jackson, CF, Raytown South HS (Mo.): Committed to play for the Missouri Tigers, Jackson is best known for his speed but also has a good arm.
Damion Carroll, RHP, King George HS (Va.): The righty has a fastball that touches 95 mph, and he was a two-sport athlete in high school as a basketball player.
Marty Gantt, CF, College of Charleston (S.C.): Gantt led his team with a .373 batting average, .614 slugging percentage and 29 steals. He hit 11 home runs.
Luke Maile, C, Kentucky: Maile posted a .319 batting average, tied for the best on the team. He led the Wildcats with 51 RBIs, 12 home runs and a .533 slugging percentage.
Joey Rickard, CF, Arizona: Rickard was a 2011 All-Pac-10 selection and hit .326 with 30 RBIs. He is best known for his speed.
Sean Bierman, LHP, Univ. of Tampa (Fla.): A local talent, Bierman was 8-3 on the season with a 2.27 ERA. He had 85 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings.
Clayton Henning, CF, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Kan.): Henning was the fifth center fielder chosen by the Rays on Tuesday. He has committed to play at Dayton University.
Taylor Hawkins, C, Carl Albert HS (Okla.): He was named a Louisville Slugger High School All-America Honorable Mention after hitting .360 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs as a junior.
Dylan Floro, RHP, California State-Fullerton: Floro was 10-4 with a 2.83 ERA in 15 starts this season. He was picked by the Rays in the 20th round in 2009 but didn't sign.
Christopher Kirsch, LHP, Lackawanna College (Penn.): Kirsch was 10-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 70 innings this season. He had 101 strikeouts.
William Gabay, RHP, Herkimer County CC (N.Y.): At 6-foot and 180 pounds, Gabay was the fifth right-handed pitcher selected by the Rays on the second day of the Draft.
Greg Zeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.