Who will lead these Rays in home runs?

by Gary Shelton on August 8, 2023

in general

Paredes is tied for the team lead./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

They have jolted their way here. Of all the surprises of the Tampa Bay Rays, that is perhaps the biggest one.

The starting pitching has been good. The defense has been steady. The bullpen has been mostly solid.

But it is the muscle that has raised the most eyebrows with these Rays. They weren't expected to hit it often, and they certainly were not expected to hit it far. But 166 home runs later — 27 more than all of last year -- they have turned into fence-busters.

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Now, the question changes to this: Can they keep it up?

When it comes to the power game of the Rays, do you trust them to drive the team into the post-season? Do you think they can bash their way in?

And if so, who is going to lead this team in homers?

The candidates:

Isaac Paredes (21 homers currently): Parades has had his second straight solid season with more than 20 homers. Still, he remains a pull-happy hitter. In playoff baseball, you'd think pitchers would make it tougher on him to get around on the baseball. Parades has never hit above .220 (he's at .259 now), and he can be streaky.

Jose Siri (21): Siri's power surge might be p the most surprising on the team. He has three times the homers he's had in any other year. But he has just 25 singles on the year. He's hitting just .217, and he lacks plate discipline. It would be an upset if he led the Rays.

Randy Arozarena (18): Most of us would have bet heavily on Arozarena to lead this team in homers. But he's been ice cold for a while now. He's hitting just .157 with three homers since July 1. Still a good tear could get him into the lead.

Yandy Diaz (16): Diaz hits more balls hard than any other Ray, which is in his favor. But his swing plane isn't always about power -- he has only two seasons with double-digit homers. Still, he's got a shot.

Brandon Lowe (15): Injuries, and inconsistency, have cost Lowe a lot of ground. Still, he's had a 39-homer season before, and he can get hot.

Wander Franco (15): Franco's frame suggests that he'll hit more homers as he ages. Still, he has three in the last week, and after a cold July, he's heating up overall.

Luke Raley (15:) He has only one home run since July 5. Good power, but he's too far back.

Josh Lowe (14): Another player who hasn't cranked much lately. He has two since July 1.

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