Who were the Rays’ better players in ’19?

by Gary Shelton on September 27, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Friday, 3 a.m.

As they go into their final weekend, they have earned this:

They are one of the most popular teams in the history of the Tampa Bay Rays.

All the comebacks. All the walk-offs. All the come-from-behind wins from a team that was better than most of us dared to hope. Injuries did not stop them. Heartbreaking losses did not stop them.

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So who has best the best player for these Rays? When all is said and done -- and it will be in 27 or so more innings -- who has been the most indispensible of the Rays?

One man's top 10:

  1. Charlie Morton, pitcher: Morton was impressive enough with his 16 wins. He struck out more, and pitched more innings, than Blake Snell did a year ago when he won the Cy Young. But Morton's case is strengthened by the Rays' loss of Snell and Tyler Glasnow. Someone had to be the anchor to this staff. It was Morton.

2. Austin Meadows, outfielder: Meadows leads the Rays in batting average, home runs and RBI. If not for his breakout season, the Rays' offense would have spent even more games where it was grounded. Rays' fans should thank the Pittsburgh Pirates every day.

3. Travis d'Arnaud, catcher: There for a while, it seemed d'Arnaud had every big hit that the Rays' got. He has 16 homers and 67 RBI, which isn't bad.

4. Tommy Pham, outfielder: Pham is hitting .273 with 66 RBI. He got a lot of attention for his intensity, which was good. However, he wasn't good on the basepaths.

5. Willy Adames, shortstop: Adames has flown under the radar for most of the season, but he was a slick shortstop and he is hitting .253.

6. Emilio Pagan, closer: Pagan was one of the major adjustments to the Rays' approach after Jose Alvarado imploded on the mound. It doesn't help to threw 100 miles per hour if you can't control it. Pagan has 20 saves.

7. Avi Garcia, outfielder: Garcia is another overlooked player for the Rays, but he has 20 homers and 71 RBI.

8. Neil Anderson, reliever: Once he came over from the Marlins, the roles of the Rays' bullpen were solidified. If you need a strikeout, he's a good option. He had a 2.11 ERA.

9. Ji-Man Choi, first baseman: Choi came up with a lot of big hits down the stretch, and his defense at first base has admirable.

10. Kevin Kiermaier, outfielder: Kiermaier's .228 average could have been higher, but he has been excellent in the outfield.

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