Reviewing the “other guy” in the Tampa Bay Rays’ exchange with the St. Louis Cardinals. We will look at each tool in his belt, today we look at the power.
We previously reviewed the speed aspect of his game here.
Thursday, The Tampa Bay Rays sent a highly-touted left-handed pitching prospect in Matthew Liberatore to the Cardinals in exchange for Jose Martinez and another guy. For those that don’t pay close attention, you may not have heard of Randy Arozarena. It’s time to hear.
Liberatore was such a prospect that he could have been used to get a bigger named veteran. Most evaluators have high hopes for the 6’5″ lefty. Jose Martinez is a great platoon player in desperate need of a DH spot as he ages. He’s going to be a fantastic contributor to the Rays over the next few seasons. He’s a right-handed bat that kills lefties. For his career, he’s slashing .331/.405/.570 with a 160 wRC+ against southpaws.
Alas, Jose Martinez is not enough for a prospect with the value and future of Matthew Liberatore. That’s where Arozarena comes in.
In the first article reviewed the speed tool and how Arozarena is tied with Braves’ superstar, Ronald Acuna Jr. in feet per second. While power isn’t the primary calling card for the 24-year-old, he has displayed a ton of pop for the Cardinals in the minors.
At just 5-11, 170 lbs. Arozarena packs a lot of punch in his small frame. Last season in Triple A-Memphis he slashed .358/.435/.593 for the Redbirds. Let me say again, he SLUGGED .593.
In only 246 at-bats Arozarena had 32 extra-base hits – 12 homers, 18 doubles, and two triples.
His past four minor league stops, the power has become more and more prominent. Rays’ GM Erik Neander discussed how much they saw Arozarena as a vital future piece. In his comments be mentioned that he has outstanding contact skills and has developed power without sacrificing his ability to make contact, which is not always the case.
Here’s a look at his slugging percentages at his past four minor league stops.
- 2018 AA-Springfield: .396/.455/.681
- 2018 AAA-Memphis: .232/.328/.348
- 2019 AA-Springfield: .309/.422/.515
- 2019 AAA-Memphis: .358/.435/.593
He’s proven he can smash at the highest levels and earned his callup to the Cardinals late last year.
He only had 20 ABs with the Cards last season and they went very well. I won’t get too far into that.
It should be interesting to see if he’ll make the Rays out of Spring Training. He’s a very toolsy young player and evidently he’s got some real power to go with his elite-speed.
How excited are you about the Rays’ newest outfielder, Randy Arozarena?