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.