Tampa Bay Rays: Grading Each Player's First Half

Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
1 of 5

The Tampa Bay Rays needed this All-Star break more than most teams, not because they had a poor first half (they didn't), but they have had to struggle through plenty of adversity in 2022. They have not had a fully healthy roster all season and they likely won't for the rest of the year, and as if the never-ending injuries weren't enough, they have been forced to regroup while the New York Yankees have lapped the field in the AL East.

Despite that, the battle-tested Rays went into the All-Star break with a 51-41 record, good for 2nd place in the AL East and the top Wild Card position. They couldn't shake mediocrity for the first 3 months of the year, going into July at a slightly underwhelming 5 games above .500 with a pedestrian +15 run differential. However, they caught some lightning in a bottle during the weeks before the break, with a current July record of 11-6, and that's despite getting swept by the lowly Reds on the road. They're 13 games back of the 1st-place Yankees and a game and a half ahead of the 3rd-place Blue Jays, and if the season ended today, they'd have home-field advantage in a best-of-3 series against the Seattle Mariners in the new Wild Card round.

In typical Rays fashion, there are so many intricate details in terms of individual player performance that warrant further analysis. As such, I've assigned each player a letter grade to summarize how I believe their first half went, taking into account the expectations they carried at the start of the year.
As an aside: players who either just recently recovered from injury or were acquired via trade after the quarter mark of the season were not included due to the small sample size. Neither were players who are not on the active roster at the time of writing, whether that be due to demotion to the minors or any reason other than injury.