FLA- Rays top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell continues to be the one to watch in the Rays organization as the 2017 season creeps closer.
In 2016 we talked about his finding his way in his second season in the Florida State League, about turning self-criticism into a positive, by being, say, more self-reflective, more self-assured with all of his pitches, especially his fastball. Honeywell has worked extensively with Steve “Doc” Watson, including on pitch sequencing, and after 10 games with the Charlotte StoneCrabs, he was promoted to Double-A Montgomery.There he made 10 starts, finishing with a 2.28 a slight drop from Charlotte (2.41).He finished the season with a combined 117 strikeouts.
This off-season, he said he’d hoped to see time in Durham with the Bulls. But, he added, “I just want to WIN. Wherever I’m at. I want to win.”
While the righty's screwball gets the most attention, he entered spring training with a few other things on his mind to work on. And there was something else. In talking to him, he expressed increased confidence in how he views his ability and the near future. He’s always sounded ready. He just sounded, well, readier.
When asked what the main less of 2016 was, he said plainly, “I learned that I can get minor league guys out.”
Here’s what else he said about early work in camp:
Current Focus: “Right now I’m focused on locating everything on both sides of the plate. Because I think what would really benefit me right now is to see some big league hitters. That would give me the gauge I need to make adjustments to get big league guys out. My stuff is good enough for that.”
Specifics on Pitches: “I’m throwing everything but extra time on a new breaking ball. And making the curveball a little sharper.”
Mindset Heading into the 2017 Regular Season: “Keep everything simple. Be realistic with yourself. Admit when you make a bad pitch. “