All-Time Tampa Bay Rays: Who Starts at 2B to Win One Game?

We look back at some of the great players who have worn a Tampa Bay Rays uniform and attempt to assemble the best starting lineup to win one game.

The Tampa Bay Rays have had a lot of home-grown stars that went on to make big money elsewhere, likewise, they have also brought in their fair share of veterans and legends toward the end of their careers.

Today, we begin selecting a team using any player to ever wear a Rays uniform. All they have to do is win one game. These choices are my own and they are opinions. Feel free to post your lineups in the comments below, our Facebook page, or on Twitter @Rayscologlasses. Today we make a decision on which player would start at second base.

Second Base

MLB.com’s Juan Toribio recently ranked his list of all-time top five Rays’ second basemen. Here’s his list:

  1. Ben Zobrist
  2. Akinori Iwamura
  3. Logan Forsythe
  4. Miguel Cairo
  5. Brandon Lowe

The Rays are one of the more interesting in MLBs top-five lists due to the short history to pull from. Brandon Lowe has 425 at-bats to his name and he’s a solid choice for the list, as Toribio demonstrates in his rankings.

As which of these players gets the nod if you have one game to win…is it as easy of a decision as it was for the all-time greatest Rays’ second baseman?

Remember, if you read the first baseman article, you know that any player to ever suit up in a Rays’ uniform is eligible. It’s about the player and not just what they did while wearing a Rays’ uniform. So, is Ben Zobrist a no-brainer or is there a better choice?

Brandon Lowe certainly makes a case with his ability to hit the ball out of the park and after leading the Rays in line-drive percentage last season. Sure, he has a small sample size but what a sample it is.

Ultimately, he’s going up against a guy that has been in the MVP conversation on multiple occasions, has a career total of 33 defensive runs saved at second base, and

Between 2009-2012 he had a 128 OPS+ while averaging 19 homers, 35 doubles, six triples, and 18 steals.

The accolades don’t end there. Zobrist helped lead the Chicago Cubs to their 2016 World Series Title, taking home the WS MVP trophy. At age 35, Zobrist hit .357/.419/.500 during the Fall Classic.

While we are thrilled to have Brandon Lowe on the current roster and to even have him as a part of the conversation already, nobody else stacks up to the resume presented by Ben Zobrist. The man with 44.6 career rWAR, World Series MVP, 3x All-Star, two seasons in the top 10 in fielding percentage at 2B, two seasons in the top 10 in AB/K ratio, five years in the top 10 in walks, three in the top 10 in doubles, and two in the top 10 in triples.

Next: All-Time Rays: Fred McGriff or Carlos Pena to Win One Game?

My Pick: Yea, Ben Zobrist is the guy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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