Tampa Bay Rays: 1B – Steamer Projections and what to expect in 2020
By Seth Carter
Steamer Projections is one of the most well-known baseball statistic projection companies around. We take a look at what they foresee for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020.
The Tampa Bay Rays have made several clever moves this off-season to keep them competitive with the high payrolls of the Yankees and the Red Sox. We’ll take a look at what one of the top projection companies has to say about our current roster construction.
Steamer Projections was developed by a high school science teacher named Jared Cross. He and two students developed a system using past performances and age-based trends to create a statistical projection for Major League Baseball players.
Steamer Projections can be found in all sorts of baseball publications including Fangraphs. Today, we take a look at how Steamer thinks our favorite Rays’ players will do in 2020.
First Base – 2.5 WAR
Ji-Man Choi: .247 AVG // .347 OBP // .442 SLG // 471 PA // 402 ABs // 99 H // 21 2B // 2 3B // 18 HR // 59 R // 60 RBI // 58 BB // 117 K // 3 SB // 1 CS // 112 wRC+ // 1.4 WAR
Nathaniel Lowe: .263 AVG // .345 SLG // .459 OBP // 214 PAs // 187 ABs // 49 H // 10 2B // 0 3B // 9 HR // 26 R // 28 RBI // 23 BB // 50 K // 1 SB // 0 CS // 115 wRC+ // .6 WAR
Jose Martinez: .270 AVG // .338 OBP // .426 SLG // 334 PAs // 298 ABs // 80 H // 14 2B // 1 3B // 10 HR // 39 R // 40 RBI // 30 BB // 72 K // 2 SB // 2 CS // 106 wRC+ // 0.5 WAR
The Rays have a lot of players that could find themselves getting playing time at first. Yandy Diaz played a significant role there last year. Nate Lowe brings a ton of potential.
Jose Martinez seems like the best bet with a lefty on the mound. Martinez is interesting because he has a reputation for being terrible in the outfield. If he can prove his glove can handle first base duties, the right-handed side of this platoon could be all his as he kills lefties with a career slash of .331/.405/.570.
Newly acquired Japenese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo has also been discussed as a possible option at first base.
Rays Colored Glasses’ Take
The Rays have a plethora of flexible options at first this season. From the left-hand side, Ji-Man Choi earned the majority of reps with his performance last year. Should he falter or get injured we could see a heavy dose of Nate Lowe or potentially even Tsutsugo.
On the other side of the platoon, we have Jose Martinez, whose numbers against lefties are a thing of legend. Also, don’t forget about Yandy Diaz as an option at first. There could be scenarios against lefties where we see Yandy at first, Martinez at DH, and see Mike Brosseau at third.
We could have platoons within the platoons.
You never know how things will play out with this team. It’s hard to predict. They have a lot of versatility.
The only certainty here is that Kevin Cash has a lot of talented options to work with.
First base projects to be an interesting position for the Rays in 2020.