After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for eight years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Tampa Bay Rays.
One of the things that amazes me about the Rays is how easily they seem to be able to find solidly average talent. Give Tampa’s front office a list of minor league free agents and guarantee that those they talk to will sign with them, and I bet they end up with a bushel of 1.5 WAR players. Heck, send them into a dollar store and they’ll probably find a second baseman who can hit .270/.330/.380 and some off-brand Doritos.
Just one player, Austin Meadows, is projected to be worth at least three wins, so the team’s lineup will tend to max out at “good” rather than competing with the Yankees, A’s, or Twins; they just don’t have enough high-upside talent (right now at least, someone is coming). But it also makes them an incredibly safe lineup, one of the few groups that could survive an obscene number of injuries.