With the Tampa Bay Rays season coming to an end with a loss in Game 5 of the ALDS, it is time to hand out some Rays Colored Glasses hardware.
In an exciting season that saw 57 different players take the field over the course of six months, newcomers and familiar faces alike rose to the occasion time and time again and drove the Houston Astros to the brink of elimination in the Tampa Bay Rays‘ first playoff appearance since 2013.
The Rays won 96 games in the regular season, which tied for the second most in franchise history and their most wins in a single season since they won 96 games in 2010. The success they experienced can be attributed to any number of players including rookies, veterans, and trade deadline pick-ups.
Over the course of the season, Rays fans witnessed the growth and maturation of Willy Adames, the breakout of Austin Meadows, the power of Yandy Diaz’s massive biceps, and the magic of Ji-Man Choi. They watched as Kevin Cash navigated through a roster decimated by injuries not only in the regular season but also in the postseason. And finally, they followed along as the front office made a handful of impactful moves for players like Travis d’Arnaud and Nick Anderson.
All facets of the Tampa Bay Rays came together and functioned like a well oiled machine for 162 games. Next, we will breakdown the:
- Team MVP
- Biggest Surprise
- Biggest Disappointment
- Most Improved
- Best Trade
- Best under-the-radar move
- Most Entertaining