When Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman pulled the trigger on the deal that brought Logan Forsythe to the club, he wasn’t looking for a savior. Forsythe was a complimentary piece to provide the depth and versatility that the Rays are famous for. Plus, he was coming to the team that had Superman man himself- Ben Zobrist. It was probably Friedman’s hope that Forsythe would grow and become an everyday player if he could watch how Zobrist goes about his business.
When he was drafted, Zobrist was a light hitting shortstop. It wasn’t until 2009 at the age of 28 that Zobrist became what he is today. That year he slashed a .297/.405/.543 line to go along with a career high 27 home runs. L
ogan Forsythe is not Ben Zobrist, but he could become a similar type of player.
To begin the season, you couldn’t blame the Rays’ fans displeasure with Forsythe. Until June 20th, his batting seemed to like the Mendoza line so much you expected it was just going to take up residence there. Every time a key hit was needed in the early part of the season, it seemed as though it was Logan Forsythe stepping to the plate and not delivering. However, it was unfair to Forsythe that he felt the wrath of Rays’ fans. In 2013, he battled a foot injury all season that limited his playing time and effectiveness. The last thing he needed was to come into a situation where he was not playing regularly, but that’s exactly what happened.
As the season has worn on and Forsythe has truly distanced himself from his 2013 injuries, he has started to show his capabilities. He seems to have more range at second than he is given credit for and, and from the very beginning Joe Maddon has been very complimentary about towards Forsythe’s hitting ability. Forsythe has raised his overall line on the season to .248/.297/.366, but he is hitting an outstanding .304/.352/.496 since June 20th. Throughout Forsythe’s struggles, Maddon has liked the way he has squared up the ball.
The next step for Forsythe will be sustaining the success he has seen over the past two months. Next season, he will be only 29 and is making the league minimum, so he could turn out to be a nice value for the Rays. The Rays’ faith in him is slowly paying off and, if he follows Ben Zobrist’s example of hard work, it will start paying larger dividends in the very near future.