Corey Ray stands in the batter's box against Clemson. Photo by Wade Morgen.
Corey Ray Scouting Profile
When you think Louisville Baseball, you think of Corey Ray, and for good reason. He is the face of the program, but he won’t be in town for much longer. This summer, he will be eligible for the Major League Baseball Draft. He is considered among scouts to be the top position player in the draft, and projected as a top five pick. He will almost certainly sign a professional contract with the organization that drafts him.
So what makes him such a highly touted prospect?
The good: Standing at 6’0” and weighing 190 pounds, his athleticism is a very high selling point. He is one of the best athletes in college baseball today, and could likely play any position on the field given a little time to practice. However, the outfield suits him just fine, and center is where he is projected to play at the next level. Along with his athleticism, he is a very strong individual, with a cannon arm and very explosive power. Boasting 13 home runs this season through 45 games, he has already topped his total from last season of 11 in 65 games, and has 50 RBIs to last year’s 56 with an OPS of 992 compared to 932. What is incredible is that he has done this all while limiting his strikeouts considerably (29 so far this season to 60 in 2015). Also in that time he stole 35 bases, and so far this season has 34. With a month remaining in the season and impending postseason play, these numbers are a drastic improvement to last year. His fielding percentage has stayed steady, too (2015 at .947/.951 in 2016).
The bad: Really, the only statistical knock you can give to Corey Ray is his slight dip in batting average from .325 to .316. Are scouts concerned? Not really. Mentally, he is prone to being his own worst enemy at the plate. When in a slump, he sometimes will try to hit his way out of it by batting extra aggressively, rather than letting the game come to him. That is an easy fix at the next level, as he will mature plenty when playing professionally. Out of his control is the fact that he is playing corner outfield in most games, for some reason. He will be a center fielder professionally, so clubs would like him to be playing there more often, but he will get his chance in the fall.
The verdict: Corey Ray is a five tool prospect and considered to be the top position player in this draft class, and to become the highest drafted Cardinal ever, passing current teammate Kyle Funkhouser, who was picked 36th last year (but declined to sign and return for his senior season). Corey’s great athleticism allows him to be a solid baserunner and always a threat to steal, along with allowing him to have a very high ceiling playing in center. His bat is terrific for both power and average as well. Corey Ray has one of the highest ceilings in this year’s class, but it isn’t the highest, and that’s why he likely won’t go first or even second overall. However, his floor is one of the highest too, so he is considered a very safe, can’t-miss prospect. Don’t be surprised to see him selected as high as third overall by the Atlanta Braves, but do not expect him to pass the Milwaukee Brewers at fifth and he will not pass the Oakland Athletics at sixth.