If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Unlike most team blogs, we do not very often tell you what the Tampa Bay Rays should do. We prefer to live under the premise that the people that run the Rays are smarter than we are, and know many, many more things that even the most learned fan will never know.
However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans. Looking back at last year’s 12 Days of Raysmas, we see that the Rays didn’t come through on very many of our wishes, and the result was a somewhat disappointing season. Let’s hope that changes in 2010.
On the fifth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, FIVE positions with at least 20 home runs…
Quick, off the top of your head, name the 4 positions that produced the most home runs for the Rays in 2009.
We would have never guessed that DHs produced the third most home runs for the Rays last year. Of course, that is what we hoped for when the Rays signed Pat Burrell. But considering how awful he was, this is a surprise now. Meanwhile, Ben Zobrist’s primary positions (RF, 2B) produced 29 home runs total (he hit 16 of his 27 HR at 2B or RF).
Looking at that list, we see four positions (DH, CF, RF, 2B) that can, and should, produce more power in 2010. And what is amazing about the above list, is that the Rays still finished 5th in the AL in home runs. Of course, they were only 4th in the AL East. But they were not a weak hitting team.
It is not unreasonable to think the Rays can get a little more power out of center field (BJ Upton), right field (Matt Joyce, Gabe Kapler) and second base (Ben Zobrist). That gives the Rays seven positions that are capable of producing 20+ home runs.
If that happens, the Rays will have a very good shot at being one of the top two or three offensive teams in the American League in 2010.