Right Field: No. 56, Randy Arozarena
It's hard to gush about Randy Arozarena's greatness with the Tampa Bay Rays organization because of how much of a roller coaster it's been thus far in his run. Coming over in the Matthew Liberatore trade with the Cardinals, Randy has raked all night, day, and year. Yet, he's perhaps the most frustrating player currently in the uniform with how the roster is constructed.
Arozarena in 2022 alone made more than ten outs on the basepaths on balls put in play, not to mention his double-digit total in caught stealing. In fact, it's that type of chaos that provided the drama in the now-infamous Phillips World Series base hit.
Arozarena's baseball instincts aren't necessarily the best, but beyond that, he's a tremendous player. He stole 32 bases and hit 20 homeruns this past campaign, providing the Rays a second consecutive 20/20 season where he hit to a terrific .263/.327/.445 slash line, or a line that was 24% better than the average player during the season. Since his Rays debut in 2020, he's posted a 130 OPS+, 47 homeruns and 169 RBI. In 2021, Arozarena was the third Tampa player to be named Rookie of the Year after Jeremy Hellickson and Wil Myers in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
Beyond his athletically gifted play in the regular season, he's provided one of the most remarkable postseasons in MLB history. With the Rays looking to make their first Fall Classic since 2008, Arozarena stepped up in a major way. In the 2020 postseason, the slugger had 14 XBH, including a record 10 home runs. He set the record for most hits in a single postseason with 29, surpassing former Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Though the Rays fell short in their quest to defeat the Dodgers, the Randy Arozarena Show continued the next year when he became the first to successfully attempt a straight steal of home in the postseason since Jackie Robinson.
Arozarena's regular season numbers are likely enough to earn a spot on this celebration of Rays history, but it's his postseason heroics that make him a surefire candidate. Randy will look to continue to rake in 2023.