Tampa Bay Rays 2020 Player Profile: Kevin Kiermaier

Kevin Kiermaier (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Kevin Kiermaier (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays 2020 player profile on stud center fielder, Kevin Kiermaier.

The Tampa Bay Rays have long had a luxury of arguably the best defensive center fielder in the game since Kevin Kiermaier first stepped foot on the field. 2020 might be the season his bat makes a leap reminiscent of a home run robbery.

Kevin Kiermaier
Position: CF
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Height: 6-1
Weight: 210lb
Birthdate: 04/22/1990
Birthplace: Fort Wayne, In
Drafted in 31st round of the 2010 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays (an O.G.!)
2019 Salary: $8,166,667
2020 Salary: $10,166,667
Free Agent: 2023 (Team Option)

2019 Stats
WAR: 2.3
AVG: .228
OBP: .278
SLG: .398
OPS: .676
Games: 129
AB:  447
R: 60
2B: 20
3B: 7
HR: 14
RBI: 55
BB: 26
CS: 5
SO: 104
OPS+: 79

VS LHP: .311/.341/.443
VS RHP .197/.254/.382

Fun Facts

  • Kiermaier is widely considered one of the best defenders in the league. He has three gold gloves to his credit in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
  • His defense is so good, in 2015 he only had a .263 average, 10 homers, a sub-.300 OBP, and was still finished 17th in the MVP award voting.
  • In his six full seasons with the Rays, he has only averaged 113 games per season. Despite the injuries, Kevin Kiermaier has accumulated an incredible 130 defensive runs saved before the age of thirty.

2020 Steamer Projections

17 HR
63 Runs
62 RBI
18 SB

Despite his struggles against right-handed pitching last season, over the course of his career (including 2019) he has been better against righties than lefties. His career slash against RHP is .250/.309/.435 compared to his slash line against LHP: .248/.298/.369.

If Kiermaier can add his success against lefties with his traditional competency against righties together in 2020, we’ll could finally get that long hoped for breakout offensive season from Kiermaier.

No matter the final results with the bat, we love him for his effort and fearlessness in the outfield. His lack of fear of running through a wall to make an out. We love all 130 of his defensive runs that were saved using his elite speed, effort, and heart.

Last season he showed he can he hit lefties, this season he puts it together and Kiermaier could become widely regarded as the best center fielder in all of baseball. He’s that good.

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We are lucky to have him!

*Stats for this profile were harvested from baseball-reference.com and Fangraphs.com