Rays call up No. 1 prospect Junior Caminero

Field Level Media

September 22, 2023 at 8:00 pm.

The Tampa Bay Rays called up top prospect Junior Caminero from Double-A Montgomery on Friday.

Caminero, who plays shortstop and third base, is the No. 1 prospect in Tampa Bay’s organization and No. 6 in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. He was originally projected to join the big-league club in 2024.

After starting the season at Class A Bowling Green, Caminero was promoted to Double-A on May 30. He hit .309 with 20 home runs in 62 RBIs in 81 games at Montgomery.

In 117 games between the two levels, Caminero had a .324 batting average with 31 homers and 94 RBIs.

Caminero, 20, becomes the youngest active player in the majors. He was acquired in a 2021 trade with Cleveland.

In another move Friday, the Rays placed outfielder Luke Raley on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Thursday, for a cervical strain in his neck.

Raley was initially injured after landing on his head in an accidental collision during batting practice Sept. 16 in Baltimore. Neck stiffness kept him from playing until Wednesday, when he felt “dead arm” numbness and a lack of strength in his left arm.

Raley, 29, is batting .249 with 19 home runs and 49 RBIs in 357 at-bats over 118 games.

The team designated right-hander Trevor Kelley for assignment to make room for Caminero on the 40-man roster. Kelley, 30, is 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA, six walks and 11 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings over 10 games (three starts). He had an MRI on Thursday.

Tampa Bay (94-60) has already clinched a postseason berth and still has a chance to win the American League East. The Rays sat 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Baltimore Orioles entering Friday, and although he wasn’t with the team by Sept. 1, Caminero can still be part of the postseason roster since he was already in the organization.

The Rays open a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Friday.