It’s Not the End, but Just the Beginning for the Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays season has come to a close after being ousted by the Houston Astros in game five of the ALDS. However, Rays fans should not be disappointed. Not only did they take one of the best teams in baseball to five games, but they also did it on the smallest payroll in the league.
Tampa Bay Rays Season Review
The Rays finished the year with 96 wins, which was good enough for 2nd in the AL East. The best part of the Rays season was their bullpen. Rays relievers had a 3.65 ERA over the season, which topped the AL. They were shut down every inning, and it was a huge part of why they made the postseason.
Austin Meadows was another huge storyline for the Rays. Meadows would finish the year with a .291 BA, 33 HR, and 89 RBI. Meadow’s offense sparked the team multiple times and always extended at-bats when he needed to. Travis d’Arnaud was also a huge part of the Rays success. In the month of July d’Arnaud had a .342 BA, eight HR, and 25 RBI.
The Rays were able to put together great defensive games and some great offensive games when needed. Despite being in a very tough division, the Rays battled hard and still won games against some top teams. They have definitely proved that last year was no fluke.
With the offseason now looming, the Rays will have a few priorities that they will need to take care of. First and foremost, they need to take care of their stadium/Montreal situation, which you can read more about here.
Secondly, the Rays will need to look to try and bring back some of their players in free agency. This team has shown great chemistry, so there is no reason not to try and bring back these players. This team will likely be able to repeat what they did in 2019 so this should be their top priority. Up for free agency; this year is d’Arnaud, Eric Sogard, and Avisail Garcia.
If the Rays are able to make any additions to the team they will want to improve their defense. Errors have hurt the Rays multiple times this season. Especially in the ALDS, when the Rays had a few dropped balls and overthrows that led to crutial runs.
The Rays season could not have gone much better, and they will look to repeat this in 2020. A big factor for the Rays will be who in their farm system will step up. Wander Franco is their top prospect and could potentially make the jump. For more on him, you can take a look here. Brent Honeywell is also a strong candidate as well, but his injuries have held him back.
If the Rays are able to bring back the majority of their players, they will likely repeat what they did in 2019. With their new experience, the Rays should be able to get even deeper into the postseason.
One thing is certain, and that is the Tampa Bay Rays season has proved that this is not the end but just the beginning!