2024 Tampa Bay Rays Preview: Infield

With spring training right around the corner, here is a look at the Tampa Bay Rays infield ahead of the 2024 MLB season.

Wild Card Series - Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Two / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The Tampa Bay Rays start spring training in just two weeks, and in anticipation of that, here is a look at their infield ahead of the 2024 season.

One of the biggest stories heading into this year for the Rays is shortstop prospect Junior Caminero. According to MLB Pipeline, he is the fourth-ranked overall prospect heading into this season. In 2023, he got some chances to show what he could do late in the season with 34 at-bats. In that stretch of time, he had a .235 average and an OPS of .631. He was also able to get seven RBI and a home run. Caminero and his development will be huge for Tampa Bay this season, and he will definitely be a factor deep into the season for this lineup. 

The next person to talk about for the infield is the first baseman and reigning AL Silver Slugger Yandy Diaz. He batted a smooth .330 for the season with an OPS of .932, and had 22 home runs and 78 RBI. He was top five on the Rays for both home runs and RBI. Diaz can make a case to be the leadoff man for Tampa Bay by Opening Day and will be a threat at the plate for anyone while defending his batting title. 

At third base, the Rays bring back power hitter Isaac Paredes. He was the team leader in home runs with 31 on the season. His long-ball threat is there to make a great addition to the lineup in St. Pete, but he could work on plate discipline, as he totaled over 100 strikeouts in 2023. Nonetheless, his bat is dangerous and will be again in 2024. 

Second base is an interesting position for the team. The addition of Jose Caballero in a trade with the Seattle Mariners makes for a great base-stealer (26 total, top five in SB among rookies). He also is an evolving hitter, which he will get the chance to show with the Rays.

Brandon Lowe also returns to the Rays lineup for his seventh year in Tampa Bay. He had a slight bounce-back season from 2022 with 20+ home runs and 68 RBI. His average was still low at .231. 

Lowe is a trade piece the Rays can use at the deadline to fill any needs they may have. This is due to traffic because of depth in the infield (Caballero). A call-up from prospects like Carson Williams, and even Caminero getting lots of playing time, are other factors that might put pressure on Lowe in 2024.

The infield in St. Pete has dangerous players all over the place who can deliver hits and pure power in a hurry. They have up-and-coming stars like Caminero and players that fit manager Kevin Cash's small-ball style like Caballero. It is a loaded infield that fills up the Rays' lineup card with lots of potential to push the team to the postseason once again.