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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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Tampa Bay Rays
Hunter Renfroe (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Rays Protected Players – Hunter Renfroe

Renfroe blasted 33 homers with the Padres last season, but perhaps equally as impressive was his 22 defensive-runs saved. If the Rays can help him make a few adjustments, he could be a superstar in the next couple of seasons.

Tampa Bay Rays Protected Players – Nate Lowe

Lowe blasted his way out of the 13th round of the draft and into our hearts. In 2018 he slammed 27 homers and drove in over 100 runs in the Rays’ minor league system. He gets on base with the best of them and can play both first and third base. In two seasons in AAA-Durham he slashed .282/.401/.497. If he’s left unprotected he would likely end up in the middle of the lineup for a lucky new expansion team. We can’t allow that to happen.

Tampa Bay Rays Protected Players – Randy Arozarena

Arozarena possesses a blend of speed, ranginess, and surprising power. Last season with the Cardinals, Statcast clocked Arozarena as one of the fastest players in the majors. Here are some of the names he found himself among.

  • Kevin Kiermaier (29.4)
  • Mallex Smith (29.4)
  • Randy Arozarena (29.4)
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. (29.4)
  • Mike Trout (29.2)

On top of that, the kid slugged .593 in Triple-A last season. The Rays have had their eye on him for a long time and now that they have him, they aren’t letting go.

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