The Tampa Bay Rays have never had a 20-game hit streak. We take a look at the two longest streaks in franchise history, and who could hit the mark this year.
Not only have the Tampa Bay Rays never achieved a 20-game hit streak, but they are also the only franchise in the major leagues to never have a player accomplish the feat. A few have come close, but none have hit the mark. Let’s take a look a a couple of streaks that almost reached the elusive plateau, and who on the current roster has a chance.
Hitting is Hard
Getting a major-league hit is an incredible feat. Think about this. The NCAA estimates that only about 7.5% of all high school baseball players will make it to NCAA baseball. Of the few that make it to the collegiate level, only 9.8% will make it to professional baseball. Even then, only about 10% of minor leaguers make it to the majors.
So you are facing the cream of the crop, the best in the world. One hit is quite an accomplishment. to get a hit off of major-league pitching 20 games in a row is impressive. Perhaps, if we get the season started in enough time, 2020 is the best season for a Ray to finally conquer the 20-game milestone. The marketing writes itself, “20 in 20!”
In the inaugural 1998 season, Quinton McCracken put an 18-game show for the Rays. Many records were set in that first season by default. On August 18, McCracken began a hit streak that would last 18 games. He would hit .395 over the streak and finished the season with a .292 mark for the second season in a row.
Quinton McCracken’s record lasted until 2009 when Jason Bartlett came along.
Bartlett would post a .320 average with career highs in homers (14), doubles (29), and steals (30). During the season he would amass a streak of 19-straight games with a hit, surpassing McCracken’s mark from 11 years prior and cementing himself as the king. It was a magical season for Bartlett, not only did he become the hit-streak king of St. Pete but he made his first and only All-Star game.
So here we are in 2020, and Bartlett still reigns. Do you think any of the Rays on the current roster can be the first to crack 20 games? Let us know who you think is most likely to put together the Rays’ first 20-game hit streak.
I’m going with Austin Meadows. It may seem like a safe pick but he’s an everyday player who is not afraid to put the bat on the ball and does so with great success. He can hit both righties and lefties well. Austin Meadows is my guy. Who is yours?