Illinois State has produced some sneaky good position players in recent years with Paul DeJong (Cardinals, fourth round, 2015) and Owen Miller (Padres, third round, 2018). The next in line is Rave, a 35th-round pick by the Red Sox out of an Illinois high school three years ago. He's an up-the-middle player who can do a little bit of everything and who went a round later than DeJong did, signed for a below-slot $297,500 and advanced to full-season ball in his first pro summer.
A left-handed hitter, Rave employed a more contact-oriented mentality in his first two college seasons. He began driving the ball more often and had success doing so with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer, and he hit for more power as a junior. With his current approach, he projects as a possible .270 hitter with 15 homers per season as a pro.
Rave's best tool is his speed, and he'll flash some plus-plus times but plays more as a plus runner. He's still learning as a basestealer and shows just average instincts in center field, so he's not getting as much out of his quickness as he can. He has a fringy arm and it's not out of the question that he could wind up in left field and develop into a Brett Gardner type.
OF John Rave assigned to Lexington Legends from Burlington Royals.