11:08 AM EST, Sat January 31, 2015
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DRaysBay 1 hour ago

2015 DRaysBay Community Prospect #19

12 different players received votes in the most wide open poll yet That was a result I certainly wasn't expecting. Burch Smith came out of nowhere to barely win the most support. 12 different players received votes, but I'm not sure if they're necessarily the ones that will close out the list. 1. SS Daniel Robertson (42.9% in special election)2. SS Willy Adames (91.6%)3. OF Steven Souza (52.6%)4. RHP Taylor Guerrieri (51.4% in runoff)5. RHP Alex Colome (68.8%)6. 2B Ryan Brett (51.2% in runoff)7. C Justin O'Conner (70%)8. SS Adrian Rondon (36.6%)9. RHP Brent Honeywell (31.0%)10. 1B Casey...
DRaysBay 23 hours ago

Rays to outfit area Little Leaguers, host clinics

Repeating their generosity from last off-season, 5,500 T-ball players will get free uniforms and clinics from the Rays across nine local districts. PRESS RELEASE -- ST. PETERSBURG, FL. For the second consecutive spring, the Tampa Bay Rays will provide jerseys and caps to over 5,500 T-ball players and coaches for more than 50 Little Leagues from nine surrounding districts. The program will reach Little League T-ball teams in Charlotte, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. The Rays will kick off the initiative the weekend of February 7-8 when the team will...
DRaysBay Jan 30, 2015

Keith Law releases Top 10 Rays Prospects

Keith Law's prospect rankings are out for ESPN, and the Rays Top 10 list is the freebie this year, meaning it's not behind the paywall and you can go read it for yourself. He doesn't go player by player, so we won't do our pros and cons as we did with previous top ten recaps, but we can note his list and the key observations. 1. Justin O'Conner, C 2. Daniel Robertson, SS 3. Willy Adames, SS 4. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP 5. Stephen Souza, OF 6. Nate Karns, RHP 7. Nick Ciuffo, C 8. Hak-Ju Lee, SS 9. Brent Honeywell, RHP 10. Casey Gillaspie, 1B Sleeper: Blake Snell, LHP It's no surprise at the...
DRaysBay Jan 30, 2015

The Rays and the Rising Fastball

It's no secret around these parts that the Rays have certain pitching philosophies, and that those philosophies tend to proliferate through the staff. The changeup is the classic example, thrown to either-handed batter and to either side of the plate by Rays pitchers. The staff favors the knuckle curve and often eschews the slider. When James Shields roamed these parts, the pick-off move was a weapon, and his motion was duplicated by several other pitchers. The most recent trend, however, is rising fastballs located high in the zone. In fact, in our discussion on what makes a "True Ray"...
DRaysBay Jan 30, 2015

Should the Rays claim Dayan Viciedo?

He's the ideal candidate for a DH platoon. He's also expensive for the short side of a DH platoon. Two days ago, the White Sox signed utility infielder Gordon Beckham, and designated outfielder Dayan Viciedo for assignment. That means that major league teams now have an opportunity to claim Viciedo. Whoever wins the claim then has to either work out a trade with the White Sox or receive him outright at his current salary of $4.4 million. Alternately, if no one submits a claim, Viciedo may either accept his assignment or opt out of his contract, in which case teams would be able to deal with...
DRaysBay Jan 30, 2015

Rays Trade Candidates at Catcher

Re-visiting the Rays' backup catcher options In late December, our fearless leader Danny Russell and Dock of the Rays' Jason Hanselman each took a look at the possible catching options for the Rays behind Rene Rivera and Curt Casali in the last month. Since then, Ben Zobrist was traded to the Athletics (Eliminating our chances of landing catching phenom Andrew Susac), and Geovany Soto was signed to a minor league deal with the White Sox. The options are wearing thin. The Rays may believe that they don't need to add another catcher, but Rene Rivera started 103 games for the first time in...
Rays Index Jan 30, 2015

[THE HANGOVER] What Rays Fans Need To Know Today

Last year we spent a lot of time talking about how the Rays prefer pitchers that throw their fastballs up in the strikezone and encourage their pitchers to do so. For example, Drew Smyly was asked to throw more high fastballs after being acquired from the Tigers and the result […]
DRaysBay Jan 29, 2015

2015 DRaysBay Community Prospect #18

Tampa Bay's first pick from 2013 makes the cut Nick Ciuffo quickly generated a lot of support, but this vote could go in any direction. 1. SS Daniel Robertson (42.9% in special election)2. SS Willy Adames (91.6%)3. OF Steven Souza (52.6%)4. RHP Taylor Guerrieri (51.4% in runoff)5. RHP Alex Colome (68.8%)6. 2B Ryan Brett (51.2% in runoff)7. C Justin O'Conner (70%)8. SS Adrian Rondon (36.6%)9. RHP Brent Honeywell (31.0%)10. 1B Casey Gillaspie (36.6%) 11. LHP Enny Romero (35.1%)12. IF Andrew Velazquez (58.8%)13. RHP Nathan Karns (36.4%)14. LHP Blake Snell (57.9%)15. OF Mikie Mahtook (48.5%)16....
DRaysBay Jan 29, 2015

Keith Law ranks two Rays in Top 100

Justin O'Conner and Daniel Robertson make his list. Keith Law is releasing his prospect rankings this week, his Rays top ten will drop tomorrow, but today it's the Top 100 rankings for all of baseball. After repeating his Rays farm system ranking of 23rd this off-season, and discrediting the trades made by the Rays front office with perceptibly poor drafts between 2008-2011, it should be no surprise he's not high on Rays prospects. He names two, and the placement is interesting. Justin O'Conner's 8-grade arm behind the dish earned him the highest placement among Rays prospects, echoing the...
Rays Index Jan 29, 2015

[THE HANGOVER] What Rays Fans Need To Know Today

We have our second 2015 projection and this one is better than the last, with PECOTA projecting the Rays to win 86 games, tied for the Red Sox for the best team in the AL East. We previously looked at Fangraphs, which has the Rays projected to win 83 games. […]
DRaysBay Jan 29, 2015

Wait, can the Rays actually win the AL East?

Yesterday, the initial iteration of the PECOTA projection system gave the Rays a mean projection of 86 wins next season, tied with the Red Sox for the best division in the American League East. How is this possible? In one corner, we have a Boston team that has been hoarding groundball pitchers as it seemed they should have all along, and landed highly regarded hitters in Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. In the other corner, we have the Rays, that shining pinnacle of the fire sale. Matt Silverman took over the General Managership in a situation where the Rays were loaded at the major...
DRaysBay Jan 28, 2015

PECOTA projects Rays to win the American League East

They're projected to win 86 games, tied with Boston. The Rays are the favorites to win the American League East, according to PECOTA, the projection system put out by Baseball Prospectus. Their projection of 86 wins ties them with the Boston Red Sox as the third-highest rated team in the American League (the Angels and Mariners are first and second; the Central division is, as usual, the worst). PECOTA thinks that the Rays will achieve their wins in the usual Rays fashion: by allowing very few runs to score. Their projected 638 runs allowed is second best in the American League (behind...
Rays Index Jan 28, 2015

New Commissioner Kinda, Sorta Says Baseball Can Work In Montreal

The ink on the new baseballs with Rob Manfred’s signature are still wet, but Major League Baseball’s new commissioner has wasted little time letting people know what his vision is for the sport. Manfred first raised some eyebrows among Rays fans when he said he was open to eliminating defensive […]
DRaysBay Jan 28, 2015

Keith Law ranks Rays farm system 23rd

Despite acquisitions of Steven Souza, Daniel Robertson, and Willy Adames, the Rays did not gain respect from Law. Keith Law released his annual ESPN farm system rankings this morning, and he still does not consider the Rays favorably, repeating his prior year ranking of the club at No. 23 on his list. The link is behind the paywall, but his thoughts are easy to dissect. The Rays have not promoted a draft prospect to a significant role for the major league club since 2007 picks David Price and Matt Moore; therefore, the Rays system is still bad. When the rankings only include 101 words on...
DRaysBay Jan 28, 2015

Rays Highlights: Pitching Performances of the Past Decade (Part 1)

From 2005-2014, Rays fans have had the pleasure of watching some of the finest pitchers in all of baseball The Rays have sometimes been a great offensive team, but as of late they've been a tremendous pitching team. They've even had a pitcher win the highest award given to them when David Price won the Cy Young in 2012. In 2005, we got to witness the rise of young 22 year old Scott Kazmir. In 2006, James Shields was an unheralded prospect that came up and showed a lot of promise and in 2007, he and Kazmir formed a dominant 1-2 punch. Also in 2007, seeds for a powerful rotation were planted...
Rays Index Jan 28, 2015

[THE HANGOVER] What Rays Fans Need To Know Today

24 Days until pitchers and catchers report! THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA… Broadcaster Dewayne Staats broke some ribs in a boating accident. [TampaBay.com] The Rays and the city of St. Pete are once again negotiating. [MyFoxTampaBay.com] Hillsborough County has hired a law firm with “extensive ties to Major League Baseball.” [TampaBay.com] […]
DRaysBay Jan 28, 2015

Can Evan Longoria rebound in 2015?

Evan Longoria was drafted third overall in the 2006 MLB Draft, and spent only three years in the minor leagues before being called up to the majors. He took the league by storm, being selected as an All-Star in each of his first three seasons. Even with minor derailments by injuries in the next few years, Longoria has established himself as one of the best players in the league. Relative to his previous performance, Longoria had a disappointing season in 2014. Despite playing in all 162 games, he managed only 22 home runs, and posted a .253/.320/.404 slash line. His .253 batting average was...
DRaysBay Jan 27, 2015

2015 DRaysBay Community Prospect #17

Justin Williams has a pretty unique profile that can be decisive There are a bunch of new players thrown in the pool to consider. 1. SS Daniel Robertson (42.9% in special election)2. SS Willy Adames (91.6%)3. OF Steven Souza (52.6%)4. RHP Taylor Guerrieri (51.4% in runoff)5. RHP Alex Colome (68.8%)6. 2B Ryan Brett (51.2% in runoff)7. C Justin O'Conner (70%)8. SS Adrian Rondon (36.6%)9. RHP Brent Honeywell (31.0%)10. 1B Casey Gillaspie (36.6%) 11. LHP Enny Romero (35.1%)12. IF Andrew Velazquez (58.8%)13. RHP Nathan Karns (36.4%)14. LHP Blake Snell (57.9%)15. OF Mikie Mahtook (48.5%)16. LF...
DRaysBay Jan 27, 2015

DRaysBay User Guide: How to Comment

Thoughts about posting, commenting, and responding to articles in general. I don't think anybody who begins actively participating at DRB sets out to be below average. In fact, most probably start to post because they feel as though they can contribute in a positive manner. As a fringe poster, sabermetric novice, fully employed married adult, non-author, and a user that is "not a content generator" as once told by (name redacted), there are probably better qualified DRB users to provide their insight. Since joining in 2009, most of my time is spent lurking rather than actively posting. In...
DRaysBay Jan 27, 2015

Kevin Kiermaier's humble beginnings

One pitch catapulted Kevin Kiermaier's career. Kevin Kiermaier exploded onto the scene in 2014 with his exciting play and athleticism, during a time when things were looking dreary for the Rays. Their 2013 Rookie of the Year, Wil Myers, was down with an injury and their All-Star third baseman, Evan Longoria was under-performing. In a year that the Rays were supposed to be World Series favorites, they had fallen almost 20 games below .500 for the first time since 2007. Then, Kiermaier came up and gave the fans something to cheer about. The story of how he got there is incredible. Kevin...

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