As we continue our position by position breakdown of the 2019 Rays roster, our attention turns to the outfield. First, let’s look at Carl Crawford’s former stomping grounds, left field.
At the deadline last season, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired Tommy Pham from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for prospects Justin Williams, Genesis Cabrera and Roel Ramirez. Pham quickly cemented himself as the Rays’ best hitter and is poised for a return to his MVP worthy 2017 season form.
He will serve as a fixture in the middle of a young and exciting Rays lineup while manning left field on a daily basis. The outspoken but experienced native of Las Vegas will also provide a veteran presence in a young locker room filled with inexperience.
Pham’s 2018 numbers with Cardinals and Rays:
137 G // 3.4bWAR
.275/.367/.464 // 21 HR // 63 RBI //15 SB
Pham’s 2018 numbers with the Rays:
39 G // 2.6bWAR
.343/.448/.622 // 7 HR // 22 RBI
Pham went on an absolute tear during his short time in a Rays uniform last season, yet he still wasn’t satisfied with his swing and chose to get extra at bats in the Dominican Winter League. With that type of drive it is hard not to like Tommy Pham.
Aside from a rare day off in which he might DH, I would expect to see Pham’s name penciled into the starting lineup close to 162 times. He will serve as a catalyst for this Rays team all season and I am predicting him to be in the discussion for the American League MVP come October.
For the first time since the days of Carl Crawford, left field is in good hands thanks to Tommy Pham.
As Opening Day rapidly approaches, we will conclude our roster breakdowns with the final two outfield positions and then a look at the rotation and the pen.
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Previous roster breakdowns: