Rays News

Rays: 16 Things to Look Forward To in 2016

By Mat Germain
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Sep 29, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Houston Astros catcher Hank Conger (16) hits a double against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Houston Astros catcher Hank Conger (16) hits a double against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

Number Twelve Thing to Look Forward to: Pop from Cathers

The Rays made another deal that improved offensive expectations of the team in 2016 as they added Hank Conger from Houston. While he’ll provide his usual youthful exuberance and positive energy to the team, what he also brings is the possibility of added power from behind the plate, something that should improve Rays run production overall.

With the potential to knock out 20+ HR in a season with more regular playing time, Conger is worth the gamble for the Rays. As we recently noted, he could become steal for the Rays and prove to be a great trade chip for the team.

Even if Conger can’t produce his pop or doesn’t get the playing time to do so, the Rays now know what they have to work with in Curt Casali who broke through and knocked out an impressive HR for every 10 AB (10 total in 101 AB). It’s unlikely he continues that rate, but he should provide good production with power in 2016.

Many fans also expect Rene Rivera to perform better in 2016 than he did in 2015, if he should remain with the team to start the season. Whether they start Conger, Casali or Rivera, the Rays should be able to expect more pop from their Catchers in 2016.

Next: Number Thirteen Thing to Look Forward to: Financial Flexibility

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