Tampa Bay Rays: Randy Arozarena on the cusp of playoff history
By David Hill
If he hits one more postseason home run, Tampa Bay Rays slugger Randy Arozarena will have made history.
Randy Arozarena has become the breakout star of the postseason. The Tampa Bay Rays slugger has announced his arrival in an emphatic way, launching baseball after baseball into the stratosphere. His powerful bat helped carry the Rays, despite a lack of production from almost everyone else in the lineup, to the World Series.
His stat line this postseason looks like something from a video game. He has 21 hits in his 60 plate appearances, belting three doubles and seven home runs. At this point, holding Arozarena to a single is almost a moral victory.
At this point, Arozarena’s postseason is on the cusp of making history. If he hits one home run during World Series play, he will tie the postseason record of eight homers, held by Barry Bonds (2002), Carlos Beltran (2004), and Nelson Cruz (2011).
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That production should not be a surprise to anyone familiar with the Rays. Arozarena was a powerful force during the regular season as well, with seven homers in his 76 plate appearances. But the postseason is a different animal, a place where legacies can be forged or tarnished forever.
Of course, Rays fans may not want to see Arozarena make postseason home run history based on the track record of those players. None of those three won the World Series that year, with Bonds and Cruz finding defeat after seven games. Beltran, meanwhile, did not get past the NLCS that year.
Naturally, Arozarena could just create his own path. If he hits two homers in the World Series, and sets a new playoff home run record, then any concerns about hitting eight homers will be cast aside. Based on the Rays offensive production in the ALCS, they will certainly be hoping for him to launch as many balls as possible.
Randy Arozarena is on the cusp of a record setting postseason. The Tampa Bay Rays are certainly hoping that his bat stays as white hot as it has been.