Rays Roster Rundown – Ben Zobrist
The real surprise for the Rays in 2009, Ben Zobrist not only was a huge contributor for the Rays last season, he played so well he finished 8th in the MVP voting.
Before 2009, Ben Zobrist had averaged a HR for every 31.8 AB’s. In 2010, he upped that number to 18.5. That’s a pretty lofty jump for a hitter. Not only did he jump his power numbers, he was a surprisingly efficient hitter for a guy who had never topped a .253 batting average in the pros. He was a very good hitter for contact during most of his time in the minors though, so the hitting for average wasn’t as shocking. Maybe the most impressive part of what Zobrist did last year was that he managed to put up these numbers while playing 2b, RF, SS, LF, CF, 1b, 3b, and DH. That means he played every position but C.
For 2010, it would seem like Ben Zobrist is going to be penciled in at 2b, the position he played the most games at in 2009. He actually hit much better playing just about every other position in 2009, but with Desmond Jennings, Matt Joyce and Fernando Perez battling for a RF spot, and a seeming lack of any starting caliber 2b, Zobrist should start the year as our starting 2b.
Bill James sees a very similar season to 2009 for Zobrist in 2010