1. Tampa Bay Rays Debut 2019 – Mike Brosseau
Mike Brosseau finished with the top rWAR among debuting Rays last season with a 0.6 in just 132 at-bats. In 73 Triple-A games, Brosseau is slashing .304/.394/.567. He brought his power to the big leagues last season hitting six homers and seven doubles in his limited playing time.
Like Nate Lowe, Brosseau showed a flair for the dramatics on Aug 17 against the Tigers. The game was a really fun one. The Rays pitching staff shut the Tigers out over 13 innings, setting a club record with 24 total strikeouts.
On the offensive side, the Rays couldn’t buy a run either. Finally, in the bottom of the 13th, Eric Sogard blasted a double 378 feet into rightfield. The Tigers elected to intentionally walk Tommy Pham in favor of facing the rookie pinch-hitter Mike Brosseau. The result was a blast that landed about ten feet short of Sogard’s double earlier, with Sogard scoring the winning run.
Brendan McKay made his debut last season but posted a -0.1 rWAR.
Susler’s name breaking the top three was certainly a surprise considering he pitched in just 7.1 innings. He made the most of his opportunity.
Nick Anderson would have been the clear number one on this list but he debuted for the Marlins before being traded to the Rays mid-season, so technically his debut is listed as a Miami Marlin. He finished with a total 1.4 rWAR on the season.
During his time with the Rays, Anderson pitched in 21.1 innings while striking out an incredible 41 batters and walking only two. He allowed five earned runs with a 3-0 record and a 2.11 ERA. He enters 2020 as the most likely candidate to be the closer for the team. Thus far in OOTP’s simulation of the 2020 season, Anderson is leading the American League with 11 saves.