On a team filled with intriguing prospects, Toles may be the most interesting guy on this year’s Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. The Tampa Bay Rays’ third-round pick in 2012 out of Chipola Junior College (Mariana, FL), Toles was the Rays’ minor league player of the year in 2013. He ran into some off-field issues in 2014 and was ultimately released at the end of the spring in 2015, and sitting out the rest of last season before being signed to a minor league deal by the Dodgers on September 23rd.
This season, the Dodgers have given him another chance after he really impressed in a short look in the instructional league last fall. The tools that made him a top prospect in the Rays’ system have been on display early this season. He has shown plus speed both on the bases and in center field along with a patient, middle-of-the-field approach at the plate. Toles has a short, line-drive stroke, and looks very comfortable hitting with two strikes. He’s riding a nice little four-game hit streak going into play Saturday and, by the looks of things, he will be a player to watch as 2016 rolls on. – Dave DeFreitas