hangoverIf 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.

Ready?

1B 41
3B 36
DH 21
LF 20
SS 17
CF 15
RF 15
2B 14
C 13

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.

 
 

10 Comments

  1. The Dude says:

    Interesting – underscores the issues around Upton and his injuries, the lack of production by Navarro and the drop off in the RF platoon strategy that seemed so strong in 08 (although I am not sure what the 08 RF HR totals were).

    • cubfanraysaddict says:

      Rays 2008 RF #’s- 28HR, .771OPS, HR by player- Ruggiano 2, Hinske 10, Gross 13, and Gomes 3… lot of lefties

      • The Dude says:

        Thanks – that is a 46% drop off. Season ticket holder so I knew it had to be off. Wonder if that is the single biggest drop off by position? I am curious if anyone thinks the attempt for Bradley signals a lack of confidence in Joyce?

  2. Brian H says:

    Bay to Mets, Hooray!

    • Michael says:

      Anyone else get the feeling the Red Sox offense might kinda suck next year? I mean, Ellsbury could just as easily take another step back rather than forward, Pedroia’s coming off a lousy year, Youk is obviously a beast, Big Papi’s not nearly as scary as he used to be, Drew and V Mart should be solid if not injury prone and streaky, Lowell is iffy at best, Scutaro is a 33 yr old SS with exactly 1 good year at the plate, and Cameron is getting up there in age as well. That’s a lot of question marks. Definitely a far cry from what the Yankees can throw at you with Granderson-Jeter-Teixeira-ARod-Cano-Posada etc.

      And looking at BA’s Top 10 Prospects for the Sox it doesn’t seem likely that help is on the way either. Looks like a bunch of 1B/corner OF/DH types to me or kids that are at least a couple of years away. Unless they make a big splash in a trade or free agent signing this offseason or next, I could see them getting worse before they get better.

      • Don says:

        Can you see any weak spots in the Rays (hitting) line up..
        or you just near sighted?
        Also who cares about home runs if the CF, DH, C or RF (not Zo) can’t get a base hit…just a guess…. combined BA probably about .230…
        How many .220 hitters do the Red Sox have??

        • Michael says:

          Who said anything at all about the Rays lineup?

          • Don says:

            Ok…lets talk about the Red Sox line up…..
            How many .220 hitters do they have??? (ie. suck)
            Just as comparison…. the Rays have 4/5 depending on who starts!
            So who sucks??

          • cubfanraysaddict says:

            none of us suck, Sox and Rays finished in the top 5 in wOBA and OPS last year, and it will be the same this year.

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