Continuing the series of articles covering Tampa Bay Rays players’ performance that will take into account each player’s overall production, using analytics and our perceptions to determine each player’s impact and value to the Rays this season.
Next up on our list is Rays’ Left Fielder and ALCS MVP Randy Arozarena.
We all know how good of a postseason Randy had and he even picked up some awards to prove it. Arozarena holds records for hits (29), home runs (10), and total bases (64) in a single postseason.
“Everybody is just in awe every time he steps into the box,” Rays catcher Mike Zunino said of Arozarena.
Rays manager Kevin Cash was asked about Arozarena’s postseason, he said: “Arozarena’s accomplishments were more impressive given that he had no previous experience against many of the pitchers.”
Arozarena made his major-league debut with the Cardinals on Aug. 14, 2019. Over 19 games with the Cardinals Arozarena hit .300 in 20 at-bats. A couple of Rays scouts wrote reports on the Cuban outfield and later the Rays traded for him, giving up their top pitching prospect at the time.
The top outfield prospect wasn’t able to make his Rays debut until Aug. 30th because of a positive Coronavirus test. Arozarena was asked how he stayed active during his quarantine he said, he loaded up on chicken and rice, because that was the only thing he knew how to make, and did 300 push-ups a day.
Regular Season In Review
Arozarena played only in 23 regular season games which are due to his positive coronavirus test at the start of the season. But, that positive coronavirus test helped him gain 15 pounds of pure muscle.
Despite Arozarena’s limited season, he took the league by storm batting .281 with 7 home runs in only 23 games with the Rays.
Randy Arozarena’s .439 wOBA puts him in the 99th percentile in the entire MLB which is a true testament to Arozarena’s offensive value.
Arozarena’s .641 SLG% and .359 ISO puts him in the 100th percentile in the entire MLB. This measures a player’s raw power along with slugging percentage.
Arozarena only played a handful of regular season games, but he continued his impressive regular season into the postseason where it matters most.
I wouldn’t expect Arozarena to hit as he did in the postseason all next season, simply no-one does, but I do expect him to be in the Rays top half of the lineup for the whole season.
Arozarena has 81 career regular season at-bats, postseason at-bats do not count toward rookie eligibility, and the Rays did not call him up from the alternate site until Aug. 30, so he hasn’t exceeded the service time threshold, therefore, yes, Randy Arozarena will be considered a rookie heading into the 2021 season… Scary.