Rays Season Review, Jason Bartlett

By Dustin Staggers

Our Season Reviews’ continue with a look at Rays SS Jason Bartlett.

Jason Bartlett  A-

The man who was named the team MVP in 2008 once again put together a spectacular season in 2009.   If it wasn’t for his injury and subsequent games missed, he probably would have received a regular old A instead of the A- given out to him.

The power that JB put forth this year was certainly unexpected and a welcome addition to this particular Rays team.  His Slugging percentage jumped .130 because of his increase in HR’s from 1 to 14.  He also increased his doubles from 25 to 29 and his triples from 3 to 7.  His .320 average is the best of his career.  He also walked 32 more times than in 2008 helping him increase his OPB by .60 points.   JB also made his first All star game.

My only other gripe with JB has been his off an on months.  If you take a look he had 4 great months of baseball and 2 horrid months.  His 4 great months though were truly superb with an OPS over 1.0 for two of them.  He also wasn’t “as” effective once moving into the leadoff spot, with a .303 batting average compared to a .377 average batting 8th.  Those numbers might be a little misleading though as he started the season batting 8th, and put up his best numbers of the season.   He was batting a little over his head that month, so once again, the numbers might be a little misleading.

With a payroll that will probably be trimmed in the offseason, there is a chance that JB might not be back next year.  He will be arbitration eligible at a position of prime importance in the MLB and one that is paid handsomely.  We have been grooming Reid Brignac as the SS of the future for quite some time, and JB could fetch a nice haul of specs for the Rays.  Don’t get this confused, I think JB is one of the most important players we have on our roster, and trading him would be bad choice, but the option surely exists.