Brent Honeywell
24-Year-Old PitcherRP
Tampa Bay Rays AAA
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 3/1/2020
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There's always a first to fall, and last year, it was Honeywell. The screwballer left a Feb. 22 bullpen session with discomfort and less than 24 hours later, the severity of his situation became evident. He had Tommy John surgery less than a week after suffering the injury and missed the entirety of the season. Honeywell resumed throwing in July and would seem on track to be available for a sizable chunk of 2019, though every recovery is different. With a pitcher like Honeywell who throws so many different pitches, he's a greater unknown than most coming back from elbow reconstruction. When we do finally see Honeywell, it should be as a true starter -- the Rays ushered in the opener but Honeywell seems destined to head up the Tampa Bay rotation behind Blake Snell for years to come. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year contract with the Rays in March of 2018.
To start throwing in January
PTampa Bay Rays  AAA
November 17, 2019
Honeywell (elbow) will start throwing in January, Juan Toribio of reports.
He hasn't pitched in a game for two full seasons, after suffering a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The Rays remain optimistic that Honeywell will be a part of the long-term pitching staff, but they will be cautious with him in 2020. Honeywell will open the year in the minors or in extended spring training.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
If the minor leagues were like college, then Honeywell took 50 credits his senior year when he only needed 30 to graduate with honors. The fact that the Rays seemed intent on not promoting their top pitching prospect became a bit of a running joke in prospect circles toward the end of the year, although it shouldn't have come as a surprise given Tampa Bay's well-established slow-and-low approach with pitching prospects. Honeywell certainly thought he deserved a promotion, and his frustration boiled over to the point that he ended up getting a team-issued four-game suspension in late August. A .365 BABIP inflated his ERA, but his 2.84 FIP illustrates how dominant he was as a 22-year-old in the International League. His deep repertoire and plus command separates him from most pitching prospects, but he lacks the plus-plus offering that most frontline starters possess. He suffered a torn UCL early in camp this year and will likely need Tommy John surgery, so he should be avoided in all redraft leagues. Honeywell remains a top 100 prospect for dynasty leagues.
Honeywell continues to enjoy a virtually seamless progression through the Rays organization, posting a combined 2.34 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over 20 starts between High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery. His strikeouts were slightly down upon his ascension to the latter, but he otherwise was essentially producing at the same clip as he had against a lower level of competition. He has five pitches at his disposal and strong command of all of them, led by his plus screwball. His second best offering is a low-90s fastball, which also grades out as plus due to his command of the pitch and its late movement. All told, the ingredients of a high-end No. 3 starter are all present. The Rays are known for taking it slow with pitching prospects, but unique talents like Blake Snell and Honeywell can move at a more traditional pace, so we could see the Rays No. 2 prospect make his big league debut sometime this summer.
It is pretty easy to fall in love with Honeywell as a prospect, but it is important to have realistic expectations. He has three above-average pitches to go with above-average command, but he doesn’t have the one or two great pitches typically necessary for a pitcher to profile at the front of a rotation. Of course, in the lower levels of the minors, just having two above-average pitches and above-average command is enough to dominate most hitters, so it is no surprise that Honeywell posted a 3.18 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 129 strikeouts in 130.1 innings between Low-A and High-A as a 20-year-old. He covered two levels in 2015, but it would not be surprising to see him spend all of 2016 at Double-A unless he pulls a Blake Snell and shatters expectations, which seems unlikely. In the end, Honeywell is probably a No. 3 or No. 4 starter who could debut in the big leagues in late 2017.
Honeywell came out of the 2014 draft and did well in his rookie debut. He’s an unusual pitcher in that he throws a screwball, which is a pitch that is just about extinct in the major leagues. He throws in the low-to-mid-90s, and has the aforementioned screwball to keep batters guessing as he did when striking out 40 batters in 33.2 innings in 2014. He was ranked the fifth best prospect in the Appalachian League by Baseball America, and should be on watch lists in deep dynasty leagues.
More Fantasy News
Undergoes successful surgery
PTampa Bay Rays  AAA
June 10, 2019
Honeywell (elbow) underwent successful surgery Monday, and it was determined during the procedure that his UCL was not damaged, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports.
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Out for season
PTampa Bay Rays  AAA
June 8, 2019
Honeywell fractured a bone in his elbow while throwing a bullpen session Saturday and will miss the rest of the season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Cleared to play catch
PTampa Bay Rays  AAA
May 29, 2019
Honeywell (elbow) was cleared to play catch Wednesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Could throw next week
PTampa Bay Rays  AAA
May 22, 2019
Honeywell (elbow) will rest for another week before potentially resuming throwing, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Nerve irritation confirmed
PTampa Bay Rays  AAA
May 14, 2019
Honeywell (elbow) is battling nerve irritation, a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews confirmed Monday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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