Nov 7, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Jake Bauers during the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars game at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
As the 2015 year closes and a new sun shines its Rays on the 2016 year and season, think of this article as reason to hold hope for an outstanding year. The Rays already have hope in the form of pitchers returning from health issues in 2016 and the possibility of better performances from Souza, Miller, and Morrison than what the Rays had from those positions in 2015.
But if that falls through, they seem to have each and every position covered with at least one potential impact player or pitcher that can step in whenever needed in 2016 and provide the Rays with the required boost. If the Rays are going to make the playoffs, they may have to rely on that depth knowing they’ve put themselves in a position to do so by building it up effectively.
When I look through the Rays minors system, I’m encouraged by its depth – more accurately its MLB ready depth. If my hunch is right and the majority is ready for the challenges associated with playing in MLB, we’re set for a great season in Tampa Bay. With the pitching dominance we’re all expecting to come through in 2016, it isn’t going to take much of an improvement everywhere else to take the Rays to the next level.