It’s opening day, and you want to sound smart around your Yankee and Red Sox fan friends. Because let’s be honest, they outnumber Rays fans in Tampa. Here is some tailgate trivia about every player on the 25 man roster.
Wilson Ramos- Wasn’t at his best last season, and is only two years removed from a Solver Slugger award in which he hit .307 with 22 fingers.
Jesus Sucre- Extremely capable backup backstop who actually had a higher WAR than Ramos in ’17.
CJ Cron- His career numbers don’t look all that impressive, but were the Angels really ever going to play him over Albert Pujols? Given 600 plate appearances, this guy should do some serious damage.
Brad Miller- He’s not as bad as you think. He draws walks, and he can’t be as bad as his .209 average last year. On defense, believe it or not, rates well according to advanced metrics. It’s never been his glove, rather, his arm, that holds him back. Moving to 2nd base should alleviate this quite a bit.
Adeiny Hechavarria- High contact, slick glove–Just what the Rays are looking for this year. Also, he hit .298 in September.
Matt Duffy- Finished 2nd in the 2015 NL ROY voting to some guy named Kris Bryant.
Joey Wendle- While he appears to be a glove first guy, he was actually a bat first guy coming up in the A’s farm system. This guy may surprise with some pop.
Daniel Robertson- Part of the Durham championship team last year after spending most of the year with the big league club.
Rob Refsnyder- Hasn’t shown much power in the majors, but hit 14 home runs in the minors in 2014, so it’s there. Will probably be used more as an outfielder.
Kevin Kiermaier- Over the last 3 years, he’s had a higher WAR (18.0) than Bryce Harper (16.2).
Carlos Gomez- Signed to a one year deal, and proof the Rays aren’t taking.
Denard Span- Was crushed by defensive metrics as a centerfielder last year, but will not play center field for the Rays. Set a career high in home runs last year playing half his games in an extreme pitcher’s park
Mallex Smith- Everything about this guy is old skool. He’s a poor man’s Carl Crawford.
Chris Archer- This guy was the face of the franchise long before Longoria was traded.
Blake Snell- Will be the best pitcher on the staff. Good bet for a contract extension as well.
Jake Faria- Don’t worry about his spring numbers, this guy’s for real. I don’t think his ceiling is much higher than what we’ve already seen though.
Austin Pruitt- Much better as a starter than a reliever.
Matt Andriese- Much better as a reliever than a starter.
Ryan Yarbrough- Impressed enough this spring to make the team out of camp. Went to high school in Winter Haven.
Yonny Chirinos- Made the team for the same reason as Yarbrough. Was the Rays minor league pitcher of the year in ’17.
Chaz Roe- take out your phone and google ‘Chaz Roe gif.’ You won’t be disappointed.
Andrew Kittredge- 28 year old rookie who was very effective in a small sample size for the Rays in 2017.
Jose Alvarado- Left handed. Hits 100. I suppose he’s pretty good.
Sergio Romo- 3 time World Series champion. Holds wisdom in his goatee. He’ll be the main guy in high leverage innings.
Alex Colome- With 84 saves, No closer in the American League has had more saves since the start of 2016. Whether you buy into the legitimacy of the stat or not, it’s nothing to scoff at.