Depth of bats will be important in a condensed schedule due to the workload put on players. If they are cramming that many games into a short amount of time, then guys are going to need games off. The Rays may be the most adequately equipped team to share the workload.
Manuel Margot and Kevin Kiermaier would take care of center. With the expanded rosters we may even could even get a fair dosage of Randy Arozarena. Margot and Kiermaier are two of the rangiest outfielders in the game today. According to Statcast, Margot ranks in the 95th percentile in the outfielder jump, while Kiermaier is in the 100th percentile.
Austin Meadows would get the majority of reps in left and presumably, Hunter Renfroe would see plenty of action in right. Renfroe’s power (33 HRS) and stellar defensive work (22 rDRS in 2019) are enough to keep him in the lineup on most days.
We haven’t seen much of Yoshitomo Tsutsugo‘s defense, but he was primarily an outfielder in Japan. And once more, don’t sleep on Brian O’Grady, especially in a slammed schedule like has been discussed.
Why even have all of this outfield depth when Margot and Kiermaier could cover the whole thing by themselves.
Ji-Man Choi looks to consume the majority of the at-bats at first, but we saw last season that Yandy Diaz can contribute from the right side. With the expanded rosters, Nate Lowe would likely find a spot on the team. Brian O’Grady looks like a monster just waiting for the right opportunity and he can play anywhere from first base to centerfield. Don’t forget about Jose Martinez, his glove has some questions but his bat has answers.
Yandy Diaz should have the majority of reps locked down at third, but Nate Lowe came to camp 20 pounds lighter than last year and was getting substantial reps at the hot corner. A platoon between those two powerhouses could make things terrifying for opposing pitchers. Don’t forget about Tsutsugo, who had been working out at third base in Japan to improve his stock with major league teams. Keep in mind that Mike Brosseau also slugged .462 in 50 games last season.
More Options than a Golden Corrall…the difference is that these are actually good options.