The Tampa Bay Rays’ trade with the St. Louis Cardinals for two right-handed bats is already paying dividends.
Randy Arozarena is a player the Tampa Bay Rays‘ front office has had their eyes on for a while. When they were able to send left-handed pitching prospect, Matthew Liberatore over for Jose Martinez and Arozarena, it was a no-brainer.
Martinez is a lefty-killer, but still very effective against righties. He is a win-now addition. Arozarena could be a future star. He has only 20 major league at-bats but he made quite an impression.
Randy slashed .300/.391/.500 in his brief stints with the Cardinals. He has played 153 games in Triple-A and hit .292/.379/.476 with 34 doubles, 17 homers, and 26 steals.
If this kid’s game translates to the majors he could be a star. On top of his prowess with the stick, he has been recognized for his defense and his range. He ranked among the best Statcast had to offer in 2019 based on feet per second.
- Kevin Kiermaier (29.4)
- Mallex Smith (29.4)
- Randy Arozarena (29.4)
- Ronald Acuna Jr. (29.4)
- Mike Trout (29.2)
In three spring games thus far, Arozarena has had six plate appearances. Nobody has figured out how to get him out yet. He’s walked twice, has a double, a triple, and two singles. He leads the majors with five runs scored and had a clutch go-ahead triple against the Yankees on Sunday, driving in two runs to give the Rays a one-run lead. He later showed his awareness on the basepaths when the catcher overthrew the pitcher and Arozarena tacked on an insurance run.
Arozarena dazzled again today as he came off the bench to relieve Dylan Cozens in left field. He went two for two with an RBI today. Arozarena has yet to get a start this spring.
Opening Day Expectations
Randy Arozarena’s odds of making the Opening Day roster took a big hit when the Rays traded for Manuel Margot. Margot is a speedy defensive-minded centerfielder that will serve as adequate insurance to Kevin Kiermaier this season. He’s a known, veteran commodity. Arozarena is certainly creating a lasting impression in the minds of Rays’ fans.
He may not break with the big-league club at the end of spring, but should the opportunity arise during the season, the front office has to feel pretty good about having Arozarena as an option.