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Tampa Bay Rays: Way Too Early Roster Prediction

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ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 29: Joey Wendle #18 and Willy Adames #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays react after their 8-5 win over the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 29, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 29: Joey Wendle #18 and Willy Adames #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays react after their 8-5 win over the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 29, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 23: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays makes a leaping catch against the wall in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 23: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays makes a leaping catch against the wall in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

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Kevin Kiermier, LHH, 28

As a result of the Mallex Smith trade, it looks as if the 2019 outfield is pretty much set in stone, with the only wildcard being Guillermo Heredia. Prior to the trade, I believed Kevin Kiermaier was going to be the biggest wildcard, I even expected a trade involving KK.

With a KK trade out of the question, Kiermaier is officially the Rays 2019 starting centerfielder. Now, the only question that remains is his health. The fan favorite defensive magician missed significant time again in 2018 due to injury and with the departure of Mallex Smith, the Rays simply can’t afford to lose their star outfielder.

He struggled at the plate in 2018 and really hasn’t been overly impressive with the bat at any point in his major league career. With his speed, his value resides on the bases where he can turn singles into doubles and rattle a pitcher as he swipes bag after bag. But, for him to realize that value, Kiermaier must put the ball in play and reach base first.

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