Full season of Randy Arozarena:
The haters will say it was a fluke, but the Rays fans who got to see him put on a show at the end of last season and virtually every game of the postseason know that this guy is something special. I don’t think he will put up absurd numbers, but if you don’t think he’s a legit ROTY candidate, then you’ve lost your mind.
Veteran pitching additions:
The Rays lost Charlie Morton and Blake Snell, but they went out and got Chris Archer, Michael Wacha, and Rich Hill in free agency. These 3 pitchers are perfect for the Rays organization because they are overlooked by the rest of the league, but their potential is very high. The Rays seem to get the best out of their pitchers year in and year out, so it’s fair to expect these guys to play to the best of their ability in 2021. Archer is returning to the Rays after being a member of the club from 2011-2017. He looks much more comfortable in a Rays jersey as he’s thrown 3.1 innings allowing 0 hits and 0 runs so far this spring. Michael Wacha has also looked pretty solid so far as he went 4 scoreless innings against the starting lineup of the Minnesota Twins. And we can’t forget old man, Rich Hill. Hill is going to be a big impact player on the field and in the clubhouse this season. His leadership and experience will help this pitching staff tremendously.
I think the Rays have more depth this year than they’ve ever had. Let’s start with the infield. It’s very interchangeable with Brosseau and Wendle’s ability to play any of the positions. Tsutsugo can also play the corner infield spots. We also added a strong backup to Mike Zunino with Francisco Mejia behind the dish. Mejia is probably a better hitter than Zunino which will help the Rays give the starting catcher some much needed days off. There are also some young prospects that the Rays could bring up to the big league club during the season. These include the #1 prospect in baseball, Wander Franco, the speedy Vidal Brujan, and the talented Tristan Gray.
The outfield also has some solid depth with Margot, Kiermaier, and Phillips available in CF. Meadows, Arozarena, Tsutsugo, and even Brandon Lowe can play the corner outfield spots. Every position for this Rays club has multiple players that could man it. That is hard to come by for most teams and it’s even more impressive that the Rays are still able to play excellent defense.