Wander Franco Invited To Rays Spring Training (www.mlb.com)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms with right-handed pitchers Adrian De Horta and Yacksel Ríos on minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training. The Rays have also invited four of their minor league players to major league spring training: infielder Wander Franco, first

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms with right-handed pitchers Adrian De Horta and Yacksel Ríos on minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training. The Rays have also invited four of their minor league players to major league spring training: infielder

, first baseman/outfielder Dalton Kelly, infielder Esteban Quiroz and catcher/outfielder Brett Sullivan. These invites increase the spring roster to 55 players.

De Horta, 25, was part of the Los Angeles Angels 60-man player pool for the 2020 season and spent the summer at the alternate training site at Long Beach State University. He was originally signed by the Angels as a minor league free agent prior to the 2018 season. He split the 2019 season between Double-A Mobile, Triple-A Salt Lake and the Rookie-level AZL Angels, and combined to go 0-2 with a 5.33 ERA (52.1-IP, 31-ER) and 76 strikeouts in 18 appearances (eight starts). He was selected by the San Diego Padres in the eighth round of the 2013 Amateur Draft out of South Hills (Calif.) High School.

Franco (WAHN-der FRAHN-co), 19, was part of the Rays 60-man player pool for the 2020 season and spent the summer at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Fla. He was also part of the 40-man player pool for the postseason and traveled with the team during the run to the World Series. He enters the 2021 season ranked by Baseball America and MLB.com as the No. 1 overall prospect in the minors. He became the fourth player to rank as Baseball America’s top prospect in consecutive years, joining Bryce Harper (2011-12), Joe Mauer (2004-05) and Andruw Jones (1996-97). He split the 2019 season between Class-A Bowling Green and Class-A Charlotte, batting .327/.398/.487 (139-for-425) with 27 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs and 53 RBI in 114 games and earning Minor League Player of the Year honors from the Rays Baseball Operations department. He was signed by the Rays as an international free agent on July 2, 2017 out of the Dominican Republic.

Kelly, 26, was a non-roster invite to Rays spring training last February but was not part of the Rays 60-man player pool for summer camp and the 2020 season. He split the 2019 season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, earning a June 1 promotion, and hit .281/.394/.405 (118-for-420) with 10 home runs and 46 RBI in 122 games between the two levels. He was named to the Southern League midseason All-Star Team, but did not play due to his promotion. He was acquired by the Rays from the Seattle Mariners in a five-player trade on November 18, 2016.

Quiroz (key-ROHS), 28, was acquired by the Rays on March 26, 2020 as the player to be named to complete the Tommy Pham trade. He was part of the Rays 60-man player pool for the 2020 season and spent the summer at the alternate training site in Port Charlotte, Fla. Following the season, he played for the Caneros de Los Mochis in the Mexican Pacific Winter League and hit .299/.466/.483 (52-for-174) with eight home runs and 38 RBI in 58 games. He was signed out of Mexico by the Boston Red Sox in November 2017 and is a career .274 (113-for-412) hitter in two minor league seasons.

Ríos, 27, made three relief appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, allowing four earned runs in four innings. He was placed on the injured list (right shoulder inflammation) on August 15 and transferred to the 45-day injured list on September 21, ending his season. He has spent parts of the last four seasons in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies (2017-19) and Pirates (2019-20) and owns a career 5-2 record and a 6.36 ERA (69.1-IP, 49-ER) in 66 appearances, all out of the bullpen. He was selected by the Phillies in the 12th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft out of Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

Sullivan, 26, was a non-roster invite to Rays spring training last February but was not part of the Rays 60-man player pool for summer camp and the 2020 season. In 2019, he spent a second consecutive season with Montgomery and hit .280 (102-for-364) with 10 home runs and 51 RBI in 102 games. He ranked among Southern League leaders in avg. (10th), doubles (25, tied for sixth), extra-base hits (40, 10th) and slugging pct. (.459, eighth). He was selected by the Rays in the 17th round of the 2015 Amateur Draft out of the University of Pacific and is a career .278 (539-for-1,938) hitter in five minor league seasons.



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