Tampa Bay Rays – Brian O’Grady
Maybe one of the most underlooked acquisitions of a busy offseason was Brian O’Grady. This man has 36 career Triple-A homers in just 154 games. Do the math on that.
Last season he had 59 extra-base hits for the Louisville Bats with a .359 on-base percentage and a Bats’ single-season record 28 homers in 112 games.
Beyond all the power and patience, O’Grady brings defensive versatility is a matchup-proof lefty. For all the power that jumps off of the page from his 2019 stats, the 30 doubles, the 28 homers, the 77 RBI…It’s easy to overlook the speed part of his game. O’Grady has 85 career stolen bases to go with his 76 homers.
Additionally, O’Grady is not just some stereotypical slugger of a first baseman. This guy is an athlete. Not only is he capable of manning both corner infield positions effectively, but he also spent 56 of his 79 major-league innings with the Reds in centerfield in 2019. The Rays were also giving him looks in center this spring.
As far as being matchup-proof as a left-handed hitter last season, O’Grady posted an OPS of .856 against righties and a .980 OPS against lefties. What do you do against this guy?
You pitch and pray.
Before the suspension of play, O’Grady had a spring slash of .348/.400/.739.
Who do you think could take advantage of extra opportunities afforded by the frenzied schedule of 2020? Let us know in the comments below!