This is a look at the Tampa Bay Rays team in the eyes of a fantasy baseball player. I want to take a look at the dos and don’ts of the roster for your fantasy team. This is what I would do and not do in regards to the Rays. I have already taken a look at the New York Yankees, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. My colleagues have taken a look at the Baltimore Orioles, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies. We will continue to do all the teams and then also take a look at whole divisions.
Do take their starting pitching. If you are in a league where it is the whole teams pitching then at least starting pitching wise they should be at top or near the top of your list. James Shields, Matt Moore, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis. The Rays continue to develop pitching and their pitching is what lets them compete. Matt Moore looks to be a future ace, we all know what Price can do. Hellickson is up and coming and Shields is a proven pitcher.
Don’t bet on B.J. Upton ever living up to his potential. Upton has so much potential and he will show flashes of it at times. He never has put it all together though and there are plenty of other outfielders I would look to first.
Do go ahead and take Evan Longoria. Longoria is one of the best in the game right now. He is young and he has all the tools. He should be near the top of your list for third baseman in the league. In that division he may even be the best. He is better then Alex Rodriguez right now and maybe even Kevin Youkilis as they start to age.
Don’t even bother looking at their catchers. Jose Molina is their starting catcher. He is a very nice backup catcher and he is starting on this team. I think that pretty much says it all. He is a great defensive catcher but he doesn’t have too much fantasy value, he isn’t much of a hitter at all and has no speed.
Do take a shot on Desmond Jennings. He has all the talent in the world and can be a future star. If you are in a keeper league then this is even more of a guy for you. Jennings is 25 years old and last year was his first season in the majors. He batted 259 with 10 homeruns and 25 RBI and a 356 on base percentage. He played in 63 games and also had 20 steals in 26 attempts.
Don’t get too caught up in the Sam Fuld craze. He is a nice story, a nice guy and a nice player. Fuld though most think he may be a superhero really isn’t. He is a superb defender and is playing with diabetes but he isn’t a great hitter. He doesn’t have any power, won’t drive in many runs and doesn’t hit for a very high average. He is a guy to root for but that doesn’t help your fantasy team.
Do look at Matt Joyce as not one of your top outfielder picks but a middle round type of guy. He batted 275 with 19 homeruns and 75 RBI last year. He also had a 347 on base percentage. That is a very nice year and he is talented. He is also just 27 years old and has a bright future ahead of him. Last year was his best year but I see that continuing. He is on a good team for him.
Don’t look at Kyle Farnsworth as a top closer. He had a very good year last year but I still wouldn’t trust him. He had 25 saves and a 2.18 ERA with 51 strikeouts and a .99 WHIP. His career ERA is 4.25, I would expect more towards the norm this season.
Do take a look at Carlos Pena. He may be a good backup first baseman to have. He is back with the team that he had his best years with. He still has the power and should be helped out by playing in Tropicana Field. I like him as a backup first baseman or even a DH. He only batted 225 last year but still had 28 homeruns and 80 RBI with a 357 on base percentage.
Don’t bother with the Rays shortstops. You aren’t going to get a lot of production out of them. Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson both hit under 200 last year. Sean Rodriguez was better then them but he only hit 223 with eight homeruns and 36 RBI. He had a 323 on base percentage. That was their best shortstop, I would look elsewhere for this position.
Do like what you see from Ben Zobrist. He is a second baseman who hit 269 with 20 homeruns and 91 RBI. He also had a 353 on base percentage and 19 stolen bases. He isn’t Robinson Cano or Dustin Pedroia but he may be in the next tier of guys. He is worth looking at as your second baseman if you can’t get one of the top guys and at the very least as a utility or bench guy.
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