Saturday, February 13, 2016

Fantasy Baseball: Who are the Tampa Bay Rays?

The Tampa Bay Rays are a team in transition and a team that is constantly rebuilding. The team is absolutely stacked on the pitching side of things with Chris Archer leading the way but injuries set the team back in a major way in 2015. The team will now look to have a healthier and more productive 2016 after adding a couple new faces and after getting a couple old faces back from the disabled list with their eyes on the prize that is the American League East division. While the Rays have their eyes set on October in real life those same Tampa Bay Rays can help you reach the same October playoff goal, just in your fantasy baseball league of course. 

The first new face in Tampa is former Colorado Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson who leaves the friendly confides of Coors Field to come to a more pitching friendly ballpark in Tropicana Field. For that reason alone he may not be worth where he is going to be ranked or taken but he will still likely give you 20-25 home run power at an outfield position and that’s never bad. He’s one that will likely be taken before I feel comfortable taking him but if he’s there and in your comfort level then go for it, he’s a good ball player with a lot to like. 

Another new face is Brad Miller who is not going to put up ungodly numbers at the dish but at an anemic position offensively like shortstop his .258 average, 11 home runs and 13 stolen bases is near the top of the second tier player list at the position. Miller is only 26-years old and is technically entering his prime so you may see those numbers tick a bit higher in 2016. 

A stalwart in the Rays lineup lately is outfielder Kevin Kiermaier who had a solid 2015 campaign that not too many outside of the AL East really knew about. Kiermaier can get you 15 home runs and steal you 20-30 bases in a season while adding Gold Glove caliber defense to the squad. 

Finally you have to look at the prospects currently coming out of the Tampa Bay system. They always seem to have one or two that burst onto the scene in a big way and besides, it’s Prospects Month so we’re almost obligated to talk about them here today. The Rays best pitching prospect in the system is Blake Snell and he just may break camp with the club this season. The Rays will try to piece together a solid rotation behind Archer and Matt Moore until Alex Cobb returns from Tommy John surgery and a combination of Drew Smyly and Snell are likely going to do it for Tampa. Meanwhile the best and closest positional prospect is first baseman Richie Schaffer who is also eligible at third base. Schaffer would likely have to be a DH in Tampa or replace an injured first baseman but in 74 at bats with the club last year he belted four home runs showing off his raw power. If Shaffer gets a shot he could deliver some big home run and RBI numbers for the Rays and your club, just don’t expect a high average or a terribly high runs scored stat to go along with it. 

There you have it, the young guns and the prospects that are likely going to make or break the Tampa Bay Rays season and that can also make or break your fantasy draft this season. I hope the information helped and if it did pass it along to someone else in need. If it didn’t help then I apologize, but I have a feeling that it will. Enjoy and thanks for reading. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)