Tampa Bay Rays: 5 Players Deserving of an Extension
By Austin Hart
2. 3B/DH Yandy Diaz
The Rays' powerful third baseman has been very productive at the plate this season, providing a lot of consistency from the right side. Though August has not been very good to him with only a .170 average and some more strikeouts mixed in than usual, he's coming off an outstanding July where he absolutely tore the cover off the ball. A .330 average with 13 XBH, 18 RBI, and 15 runs scored certainly helped the Rays when offensive production elsewhere was tough to come by.
Yandy Diaz provides the offensive threat the Rays need from a right handed hitter. You would think with as jacked as he is, he should be launching balls out left and right. But that's not what he does. Yandy is elite at working at-bats, hitting to the opposite field, finding gaps in the defense, just overall being smart at the plate. Even when he hits a slump which every hitter can do from time to time, he finds ways to be productive. Drawing walks and moving runners over are just as important as base hits at times, and he understands how to make the most out of his at-bats.
He's posting the best WAR of his career at 2.5 this year and providing solid defense as an everyday third baseman. His offensive skills make him a coveted player and I think this resurgence-type of year bodes well for Diaz. Also set for arbitration next year, it would be smart to keep a player like Diaz as a part of this young and growing roster. His consistency at the plate is much needed by the Rays and he's an obvious clubhouse favorite among his teammates.