Welcome to the next installment of Tampa Bay Rays vs. the AL East. Today we focus on third base.
The Tampa Bay Rays have several high-quality players competing for time at the hot-corner in 2020. The Al East has some very quality depth at third base. While the Rays look to platoon several talented players in and out at third, the Red Sox and Blue Jays have two of the biggest young stars in all of baseball manning the position. Today we dive into what the boys from the north have to offer in 2020. On Deck: Toronto Blue Jays.
AL East 2B Team Previews:
Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays Fangraphs 2020 Projected 3B WAR: 3.4
The Blue Jays are projected to earn the second-most WAR in the division from the hot corner thanks to their young star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He entered the season as one of the top prospects in all of baseball but he didn’t quite get off to the start that everyone was hoping for.
He finished his first two months with a .251/.323/.419 slash and eight homers. They weren’t terrible numbers for a rookie, but that the expectations we put on rookies seem to be climbing. Despite only entering the All-Star break with eight homers, Vlad was still selected to participate in the Home-Run Derby.
Vlad put on a show-stealing performance when he and Joc Pederson had one of the most epic duels in the history of the modern format. Vlad followed up his derby performance with a solid second half, slashing.293/.349/452.
The son of a Hall of Famer, Vlad just turned 21-years-old earlier this month. As of this writing, he’s five days into legally being able to walk into a bar in the United States and order a beer… and the bars are all shutting down.
The youngster finished his rookie campaign with 15 homers and 69 RBI and a .272 average. He should be a mainstay and a building block for a bright future in Toronto. The Rays will be seeing a lot of Vlad Guerrero Jr. for many years to come.