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The Devil Rays/Rays All-Time Team

Timing is an important part of baseball. It is a major factor in hitting and pitching. This season’s Rays are struggling with timing. Third baseman Isaac Paredes’ timing with his bat swing is right on time. He is leading the team with batting average (BA) (.301), RBIs (21) and home runs (8). Perennial offensive powerhouse Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena are searching for their timing. Diaz had 45 hits, a .321 BA, 25 RBIs, and 10 home runs after 39 games last season. This season he has 39 hits, .250 BA, 18 RBIs, and two home runs. Arozarena is sharing his struggles as his numbers nearly mirror Diaz’s numbers. Arozarena’s BA is slightly higher at .329 and RBIs are at 34 versus 25. Today, Arozarena’s BA is .154. In the same number of games, production is down 50% for both players. But baseball is about timing. The possibility of every player on the team having a career season at the same time is highly unlikely. As a fan it is certainly fun to imagine. However, when building this imaginary perfectly timed team, others may dispute who will fill in which position. So, I created my own perfectly timed Devil Rays/Rays team of all-time.

Catcher Dioner Navarro

2008 H 126 2B 27 HR 7 RBI 54 BA .295 OBP .349 SLG .407 OPS .757

This switch-hitting catcher had his best season in a Rays uniform in 2008 and his only all-star game appearance. Navarro played five seasons with the Rays. His tenure behind the plate is one the longest in the franchise.

1B Yandy Diaz

2023 H 173 2B 35 HR 22 RBI 78 BA .330 OBP .410 SLG .522 OPS .932

Diaz won the batting title with a .330 BA. His 22 home runs paired with his 35 doubles complement his BA. Do not let his 78 RBIs fool you as Diaz is usually a leadoff hitter. position.

2B Ben Zobrist

2009 H 149 2B 28 HR 27 RBI 91 BA .297 OBP .405 SLG.543 OPS .948

The two-time world series champion and three-time all-star super utility player had his best season in Tampa in 2009. In this list he is fulfilling the second base position but he could be plugged in other positions. The 2009 season is clearly the best of his nine seasons for the Rays and was his first all-star game appearance. In addition to the stats listed about, Zobrist also hit a career-high of seven triples that season.

3B Evan Longoria

2010 H 169 2B 46 HR 22 RBI 104 BA .294 OBP .372 SLG .507 OPS .879

Evan Longoria leads the franchise in every offensive statistic. In 2009, Longoria hit more home runs (33) and collected more RBIs (113) but also had more strikeouts, lower BA, and led the league with grounding into double plays. Also, in 2010, Longoria had a career-high of 15 stolen bases and his OPS+ was 10 points higher than 2009.I might be splitting hairs but I pick 2010 Longoria as my third baseman.

SS Jason Bartlett

2009 H 160 2B 29 HR 14 RBI 66 BA .320 OBP .389 SLG .490 OPS .879

2009 Jason Bartlett will take the shortstop spot for now. It was career year for Bartlett. He peaked in 2009 with his only all-star game. He also hit seven triples and stole 30 bases. With an OPS+ of 132, 40 points higher than any other season, I had to place him on my list.

LF Carl Crawford

2004 H 185 2B 26 HR 11 RBI 55 BA .296 OBP .331 SLG.450 OPS .781

This five-tool player set all the offensive records for the franchise before Longoria broke them all. He was inducted to the Rays Hall of Fame in the first class. In 2004, Crawford earned his first of four all-star appearances as a Devil Ray. In 2009 the speedster led the league with triples with 19 and stolen bases with 59.

RF Matt Joyce

2011 H 128 2B 32 HR 19 RBI 75 BA .277 OBP .347 SLG .478 OPS .825

Joyce had his best season with the Rays and his only all-star appearance in 2011. Seventy-five RBIs was his career best and 32 doubles is very respectable. In 2011, Joyce was a major part of the Rays offense; although he struck out 106 times, he reached a personal best with 13 stolen bases.

CF Randy Winn

2002 H 181 2B 39 HR 14 RBI 75 BA .298 OBP .360 SLG .461 OPS .821

In the five seasons in Tampa, Winn’s 2002 season with the team was his best season as a Ray. He almost reached 200 hits and the 40 doubles milestone. In 2002, Winn matched his career high in triples with nine and topped his personal best with 27 stolen bases.

DH Fred McGriff

1999 H 164 2B 30 HR 32 RBI 104 BA .310 OBP .405 SLG .552 OPS .957 The Hall of Famer had an impressive season in 1999 and somehow did not make it to the all-star game. McGriff made it to the 2000 all-star game with lower numbers. There is that weird timing thing again


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