We continue our journey around the Tampa Bay Rays infield today with a look at second base. Rookie Brandon Lowe is making a strong impression this spring. Joey Wendle is the incumbent fan favorite who finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting earlier this winter. Basically, second base is in good hands for 2019 and beyond.
Between Joey Wendle and Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays fans should be confident that second base will be as productive of a position as ever this season. When it is all said and done, Joey Wendle and Brandon Lowe may team up to be the most productive pair on the Rays in 2019.
With the talented tandem holding down second base, Rays fans in search of stability and production will need to look no further than second. Let’s take a look at how they performed in 2018:
An afterthought heading into camp last spring, Joey Wendle burst on the scene and finished the year leading all Rays position players in WAR. Now he enters 2019 as the starting second baseman with just as much to prove as he has to fend off the talented and powerful rookie, Brandon Lowe.
Wendle 2018 stats:
4.3 bWAR // .300 AVG // 7HR // 61RBI // 118 OPS+
Lowe surged through the minor league ranks last season and received a surprisingly quick call to the show after hitting 22 bombs across Montgomery and Durham. Upon arrival he struggled mightily, failing to get a hit and falling to an 0-19 start.
He rebounded and finished strong as he rattled off 6 bombs, slugging his way back into the hearts of Rays fans after the slow start.
Lowe 2018 stats:
43 G // .7 bWAR // .233 AVG // 6HR // 25RBI // 112 OPS+
Just like any other position on the Tampa Bay Rays roster, which revolves around versatility, there are a few other options at second that me might see over the course of the season. Daniel Robertson, Kean Wong, Andrew Velasquez, and Christian Arroyo may all see time at second.
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While I am excited to see what the season holds for “Mendle” I can’t wait to see Brandon Lowe over the course of an entire season. Lowe is off to a blistering start this spring and should get more playing time than most expected coming into the season.
Previous roster outlooks: