Tampa Bay Rays All Decade Team: Carl Crawford is in Left
By Austin Reimann
Over the next couple of weeks, Rays Colored Glasses will be rolling out our “Tampa Bay Rays All Decade Team” and what better way to start than with a former Rays cornerstone, Carl Crawford.
Despite only playing one season with the Tampa Bay Rays this decade, Carl Crawford left his mark in left field. Since his departure after the 2010 season, you could say that left field simply hasn’t felt the same. About as close to an “Original Devil Ray” as you could get, Crawford was drafted by the Rays in the second round of the 1999 draft.
He would go on to make his debut with the club in 2002 and go on to become a four time all-star while in Tampa. Without a doubt one of the greatest to ever take the field in St. Petersburg, Crawford was a mainstay during the early stages of the franchise’s most successful stretch.
Until the relatively recent arrival of Tommy Pham, left field was something similar to a black hole, chewing up and spitting out players like Johnny Damon, Desmond Jennings, Matt Joyce, Mallex Smith, and Denard Span.
Carl Crawford’s decorated Rays career spanned nine seasons during which he appeared in 1,235 games. But, the 154 games he played in 2010 were perhaps some of his best.
- 154 Games
- 663 PA // 600 AB
- .851 OPS // 135 OPS+
- 19 HR // 30 2B // 13 3B // 47 SB
It was a stellar seasons that culminated in his fourth and final all-star appearance, his first and only Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, and a seventh place finish in the MVP voting. Not only was it the best season of his career, but it was also the best season any Tampa Bay Rays left-fielder has had this decade.
While we are on the subject of Crawford, we would be remised to not touch on just how good he was while donning “TB” on his head. While it doesn’t have any bearing on this “All Decade Team”, his Rays career is deserving of some recognition.
Career Numbers with the Rays:
- 1,235 G
- .781 OPS // 107 OPS+
- 104 HR // 215 2B // 105 3B
- 409 SB
For nearly a decade, Carl Crawford terrorized opposing pitchers on the bases and roamed left field with ease. It would have been great to see him play in a Rays uniform even further into this decade, but his 2010 season was more than enough to land him on the “All Decade Team”.