TB Rays Starting Fantasy Positional Breakdown for 2021

StatCast Season Evaluation 2020 notes included

This will help gauge what kind of production to expect from this TB Rays lineup moving on into post sports  blackout days.

C: F. Mejia Recently signed with TB, 2020 notes

With a lot of times in the indians farm system, his first full staring season up from a couple yrs in AAA showed him struggling as a catcher. Didn’t show much hitting at all. Done nothing in ST Scouts say he can hit but has shown nothing at any Major league level yet.

For 2021: While the likes of the coaching staff and other spectators are high on Mejia, I don’t trust him as all of his same underlying X numbers, thought not referenced above are lower then his actual 2019 slash line. He may be fine as a backstop with potential there. He also happens to split time with the next guy.

C: Mike Zunino 2020 notes

I would expect his HR/FB rate will go back up as consistent as he’s been with his BABIP, he should be hitting fine for ISO well into the .200 range, which gives him good bounce back potential as proven. He had a 116 Max Exit Velo, which was one of the best last year.

For 2021: I don’t understand why people are so down on him after last season, as sure his numbers were much better vs. the Yankees (.250) then other teams altogether (.127) but last season was such a wash.

1B: Ji-Man Choi 2020 notes

With more potential for power, his XSLG vs. fastballs is .523. His Exit Velocity supports that potential and good BB% for very good xwOBA (.365).

For 2021: Man Choi is battling injuries set to begin the season on the 10 day IL. As for his 2020, he struggled with lefties. They have depth at the position to platoon him whenever they want such as with the guys i’ll mention off the bench 1 of which can easily step into the lineup at for a good matchup

2B: Brandon Lowe 2020 notes

Lowe has secured a starting spot in the lineups without losing his coveted #1-3 slot as his X numbers are in line with his seasons performance. Not sure if he can sustain those numbers vs. Lefties.

For 2021: Many project that as perhaps his best season, not to repeat. He faded into an average hitter in the post season, however led MLB in XBH (Extra Base Hits) most notably to his significant credit. This includes pwr.

3B: Joey Wendle no 2020 notes

Versatility and high batting average are the calling card here. Yandy Diaz does similar things here as well including OBP for them both.

SS: Willie Adames 2020 notes

Looks like his 20 home runs came from an increased launch angle he created after his rookie year. Had too high of a ground ball rate, as you can’t say his batting average helped him to justify the low power numbers.

For 2021: His most significant split was that he hit better on the road. His fielding will keep him in play daily in deep leagues. The only problem is Wander Franco is waiting in the wings to become one of the next great SS’s in the game as the top prospect with all of the tools to project.

OF: Austin Meadows 2020 notes

Meadows showed off top 25 Power with bat strength. His 547 XSLG % shows evidence of a really, really good hitter who did his time in the minors.

For 2021: The lefty will be more effective then he was down the stretch as he had tough matchups in the playoffs, especially vs. LAD. a .300, 30 hr, 10 steal season is likely.

OF: Randy Arozarena not 2020 notes

His 17 HR’s seemed to be evidence of a power hitter in the making at least in small sample size. He has been slowed so far this ST. Although he can easily get back on track and certainly has near elite speed for additional upside, he’s lacking in launch angle (well below average) which is concerning as he’ll probably need to learn to use other talents at the plate to complement.

OF: Manual Margot

A World Series hero type gets good matchups in critical spots for a constant threat of upside with power. Buyer beware he can get very cold and be benched. Among the leaders in stolen bases and bunts.

OF: Kevin Kiermaier 2020 notes

Can get you a home run and/or a steal. Ranked 23rd in sprint speed.


Yandy Diaz 3/1B: 

As mentioned above Diaz will thrive in this offense, his defense and durability issues keep him out of the conversation as much more then a waiver wire/fill in to utilize a hot streak of hits and getting on base. He an take it deep though at the right times I’ve noticed when I’ve used him.

Nate Lowe UTIL

Showing very good exit velocity and launch angle, he may be able to improve on his HR. This I would back by his .191 ISO.

OF: Yoshi Tsutsugo

I’m surprised he hit 8 HR’s and 24 RBI’s last year. Had terrible cold streaks and terrible ST. hit only .197 in 2020.

SP1: Tyler Glassnow RHP

Can easily get into the upper 90’s on his fastball, complementing his curve. Keep in mind he’s underrated as he’s been 19-4 in his last 23 starts.

SP2: Ryan Yarbrough LHP

While there’s nothing flashy or impressive about the 3 inning starter, he does his job by keeping it in the park with soft contact.

SP3: Chris Archer RHP: 2006 June Draft – Round: 5, Pick: 25; A high upside SO pitcher who can be taken as a contrarian perhaps on larger slates for that. Gives up too many walks.

For 2021: Could prove to be valuable for fantasy in mid to later rounds of a draft due to his probably uptick in wins due to arriving back home from Pittsburgh, where he’s had good results for his profile in the past in TB. If the strike thrower gets at least 150 innings, thats what you need after you draft your 2 top starters.

SP4: Michael Wacha RHP

Wacha has had a nice spring, stretched out looking to add veteran leadership as well. His downside was his changeup, but that looks to have no bearing on his projection this year as he simply has to use that changeup more often. There’s nothing wrong with it as his best pitch still by far.



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