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Tampa Bay Rays: Which 15 Players to Protect in an Expansion Draft

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Charlie Morton #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Chris O'Meara - Pool/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Charlie Morton #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Chris O'Meara - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Willy Adames (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays Protected Players – Tyler Glasnow

Glasnow has a history of injuries and inconsistency. However, his potential has always been through the roof. Before donning the magical Rays uniform, he was walking nearly six batters per nine innings in his major-league career. He was handing out free passes like Taco Bell hands out hot sauce packets.

The Rays appeared to have harnassed the wild stallion that is his fastball and the results were scintillating last season. While he only made 12 starts, he posted a 2.3 fWAR over 60.2 innings. That averages out to a 7.6 WAR over 200 innings. He was on a pace that would have placed him as the top starting pitcher in the league, 0.2 fWAR higher than Gerrit Cole.

Tampa Bay Rays Protected Players – Brandon Lowe

Brandon Lowe made the All-Star team in his rookie season. In 2019, before his injury, Lowe was on pace to hit over 30 HR and drive in 100 RBI. All while maintaining an OPS well above .800. He led the team in line-drive percentage and signed a six-year extension prior to last season. Easy call on a rising star.

Tampa Bay Rays Protected Players – Willy Adames

The guys at Cleveland.com may not be so high on Willy, but Tampa Bay fans know what he’s all about. Not only did the youngster turn himself into a premier defender last season, leading American League shortstops in defensive runs saved, but he smashed 20 homers. He’s such an outstanding player that he may push top prospect Wander Franco to third when he arrives because the shortstop position belongs to Willy Adames.

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