When the Tampa Bay Rays drafted slugger Xavier Isaac with 29th overall pick of the 2022 MLB Draft, many thought they were crazy.
But the Rays who have developed one of the better farm systems in the majors over the years, saw enough in Isaac to take the huge gamble. In fact, Isaac, the club’s fourth-ranked prospect hasn’t disappointed one bit.
The hulking 6-foot-4 and 240-pound power hitter has been knocking the tape off of the baseball. After being promoted to High-A Bowling Green last Tuesday he got his first RBI in his first game. Isaac, then followed that up with his first homer on Thursday against Winston-Salem.
Didn’t take long for Xavier Isaac to hit his first High-A homer!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 25, 2023
Isaac Has Been Lighting Up Minor League Pitching All Season
Isaac’s hitting display shouldn’t come as a surprise, the youngster’s power has already been compared to former Philadelphia Phillies great Ryan Howard.
In 328 at-bats this season Isaac is hitting a very respectable .277 with 14 home runs and 62 RBI. His .872 OPS is one of the best in the minors, but it’s his 10 stolen bases that are the most surprising. Isaac, is a big man, and that usually doesn’t associate much with base stealing.
The Howard comparison stems from his raw power from the left side of the plate, and while Isaac respects the greatness of Howard he wants to be make his own mark with his name.
“I want to be Xavier Isaac. And I want everybody to know that I’m Xavier Isaac.”
“I’m going to be more mobile than him, and I have more speed.”
If Isaac who struggles a bit defensively as of now is gonna continue to steal bases, that brings an interesting dynamic to his steadily growing profile as one of the best young first-base prospects in the minors.
Slugging #Rays 1B Xavier Isaac joins the Top 100 Prospects list as Zack Gelof graduates.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 24, 2023
Isaac Spurned Florida Gators To Play For Rays
Prior to the 2022 MLB Draft, Isaac was all but headed to play college ball for the Florida Gators. That changed when the Rays took him in the first round of the draft, and he was allotted a $2.5 million signing bonus.
For Isaac it was never about the money but about enjoying himself, and that’s exactly what he’s doing while perfecting his craft.
“I want to have fun, first of all.”
He says he enjoys watching Phillies star Bryce Harper and how much fun he has playing the game, and that’s the approach he wants to have no matter where he’s playing. Isaac’s projected arrival time to the majors is 2026, but if he continues to swing the bat like he has thus far, it could be much sooner.