HomeTeamsRaysRichie Palacios Grateful For Opportunity With The Rays

Richie Palacios Grateful For Opportunity With The Rays

For Richie Palacios, the last few years have been full of change. He started the 2023 campaign with the Cleveland Guardians before being designated for assignment and ending up with the Cardinals. He then changed ZIP codes over the winter when he was traded to the Rays for Andrew Kittredge.

While Palacios has bounced around, he can play multiple positions. That could be very valuable to the Rays, who have already embraced one of their newest additions. 

“ It’s been awesome,” Palacios told reporters on Sunday. “ Everyone has welcomed me like family. It’s been an exciting experience meeting a bunch of new guys and new coaches. It has been a great experience so far this spring.”

Since making his MLB debut in 2022, Palacios has appeared in 86 games and posted a .244 batting average. He has driven in 26 runs and stolen four bases in that span. The 26-year-old has also shown some power with 18 extra bases, including six home runs.  

Although the Towson College product’s experience has been limited, he has shown the ability to make adjustments. That was on display last year when he appeared in 32 games for the Cardinals and showed a better eye at the plate. 

“ For me, it was pretty much learning how the pitchers were attacking [me],” Palacios told reporters when asked about his offensive success last year. “ In Cleveland [in 2022], I was still trying to figure that out in the big leagues. With St. Louis, I was able to figure out how guys were trying to attack me, and in that, I  created more power numbers and more success.”

For the Brooklyn native, his focus has been on taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. He showed some encouraging signs on Sunday with a single that was 103.9 miles per hour off the bat. All he needs to do is be more consistent. 

Through seven games this spring, Palacios has posted a .133 batting average. He has only two hits, both of which have been singles. While it is not the start he envisioned, Rays manager Kevin Cash has been encouraged by what he has seen from Palacios.

“ He’s had a bunch of good at-bats,” Cash said. I still think he’s working on that timing. He’s got a bunch of good swings off. Doesn’t have a ton to show for it, but really encouraged with his work.”

As Opening Day draws closer, Palacios will be a player to watch in Rays camp. His competition for a roster spot includes Jonathan Aranda, Curtis Mead, and Jonny DeLuca. Like Palacios, all three have had limited stints in the majors. 

While Palacios will need to improve at the plate to secure a spot, he brings value with his glove. The former third-round pick entered the draft as a second baseman, but he can play all three outfield spots, something he takes pride in.

“ I’m working at all positions,” Palacios told MLB.com’s CJ Haddad. Each position has its own perk, for sure, so I enjoy all of them. I like being versatile in that. My mindset has been to do whatever it takes to help the guys win, no matter what that is. Whatever position that is, I’m here for it.”

Even if Palacios starts the season in the minors, he should get a look in the majors at some point during the 2024 campaign.


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