Rays add pitching with first round pick in MLB draft

The Rays continued to add pitching depth in the 2020 MLB baseball draft taking a 17-year-old high school pitcher from Bucks High school in Doylestown, PA Nick Bitsko.

Bitsko who has committed to the University of Virginia has a fastball in the 92-96 MPH range.

In 2019 Bitsko compiled a 4-2 record with a 1.27 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 33 innings.

He is compared style-wise to big leaguers Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasbourg.

Rays director of Scouting Rob Metzler was excited to get a chance to take Bitsko. “Nick is an exceptionally talented young man and we’re thrilled to have him. Certainly a unique situation with a high school arm that didn’t get on the mound this season. But weighing that vs. other options, it was a direction we were excited to go.”

Rays GM Erik Neander said on a Zoom call with the media, said that Fitsko is very mature with for his age, and has a really good head on his shoulders.

Fitsko is excited to join the Rays. “From a developmental standpoint, they’re one of the best in the big leagues. I think it’s a great organization to go to especially for me as a young pitcher, I think, to give me time to develop and stuff like that and having the right people around me to guide me and keep me on the right path and help me develop and get to be the best pitcher I can be, eventually.”

With their second pick in the first round, the Rays drafted shortstop Alika Williams from Arizona State.

Williams one of the best defenders in the draft is a good contact hitter but does not hit for power. Williams finished his collegiate career with five home runs in 549 career at-bats.

Williams was selected for the USA Baseball National Collegiate team in 2019.

The Rays Rob Metzler talking about Williams, “Our evaluation in high school was that Alika was going to be this kind of player, we just thought it was in his best interest to go to college, continue to gain strength, continue to show off his skills. And he did everything he needed to in college and we’re thrilled with how that turned out.”

Williams is happy to be joining the Rays. “I’ve had a pretty good relationship with the Rays organization and they’ve had eyes on me from the organization for a while now. So I’m very familiar with the organization. I’m unbelievably happy.”