Top 50 Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays began as an expansion team in 1998, and have been in the loaded American League East, which also houses the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.  Despite this, this is a team that is well run and has made the playoffs five times, won the division twice, and in 2008 would win the Pennant.  They did not win the World Series, but it was a massive accomplishment for them to get there.  The Rays again made the World Series in the COVID-19-reduced season but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This list is up to the end of the 2020 season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

With the Tampa Bay Rays for three seasons (2008-10), Matt Garza started 94 Games.  The righthander would win 11 Games in his first year there, but his crowning achievement was in the ALCS, where he won two Games with a 1.38 ERA, an effort that took Tampa to play in their first World Series.
Randy Winn was a switch-hitting Outfielder who was plucked from the Florida Marlins in the Expansion Draft.  Winn had yet to break into the Major League level, and his debut at Baseball's highest level occurred in Tampa.
It seemed so strange to us to rank Charlie Morton after only two seasons with the Rays, but we place an equal premium on seasonal dominance as we do the overall picture.  As such, here he is.

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Logan Forsythe may not have been considered a utility player, but it is hard not to think of him that way.  When he was traded from San Diego before the 2014 season, Forsythe's first year as a Ray saw him play at least one game at Second, Short, Third, First, Left, and DH.  He didn't move around because he was poor defensively, as he never had a negative Defensive bWAR year in Tampa.  It sounds like quite a versatile player!
With the fun (or demonic?) nickname of “Hellboy," Jeremy Hellickson debuted for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 after being a fourth-round pick in 2005.  He appeared in eight games, winning four of them, and as he did not exceed rookie limits, he was classified as one in 2011.  As a rookie, Hellickson would have his best season in the Majors, going 13-10, with a career-best 2.95 ERA, and would win the American League Rookie of the Year.
Sean Rodriguez was a bona fide utility player in every sense of the word.  He suited up at Second, Third, Short, First, and in the Outfield, and he could be plugged in anywhere to suit the defensive needs of the Rays.  In his first season in Tampa, he was fifth in the American League in Defensive bWAR (2.3).  He would play with the Rays until he was traded to the Pirates after the 2014 season.  Rodriguez never had 400 At Bats in a season with Tampa, but his overall value with his glove made him a player that Tampa wanted…
Signed as an Amateur Free Agent in 2007, Dominican Pitcher, Alex Colome, would reach the main Tampa Bay roster in 2013.  He would play only a handful of games for the Rays in 2013 and 2014, and while he had yet to have a defined role in 2015, he remained on the roster for the bulk of the season, starting 13 Games and throwing for 109.2 Innings.
Jake Odorizzi played two Games with the Kansas City Royals in 2012, and he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2013 season.  He played in the minors for most of that year, and he became a part of Tampa's starting rotation the season after.   That year, with his four-seam fastball, he would go 11-13 with a 4.13 ERA and was eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting.
There were two Pitchers named Roberto Hernandez, who threw for the Rays.  This "Roberto Hernandez" was the first one with that name and by far the best one.
In the up and down career of Fernando Rodney, the two seasons that the Dominican closer spent in Tampa Bay were mostly up.   
A Tampa Bay Ray for the first six seasons of his career, Jake McGee debuted in the Majors in 2010.  The southpaw only played eight Games for the parent club that year, but he managed to hurl more innings in 2011, and by 2012 he was a permanent player in the Rays bullpen.  From 2012 to 2014, McGee appeared in at least 69 Games, peaking with a 19 Save and 1.89 ERA year in 2014. 
As of this writing, Willy Adames has only played 291 Games over two seasons for the Rays, but this is a young player who appears to be on the rise.
An eighth round pick in 2007, Matt Moore was called up late in 2011 and was called up late in 2011.  He only played three Games for Tampa that regular season, he was on the post-season roster, winning a game in the playoffs. 
If you just look at the back of a baseball card, the Major League career of Rolando Arrojo looks like a one-year wonder.  That is true, but there is a lot more to digest with the Cuban defector.
From Japan, Akinori Iwamura played for years with the Yakult Swallows before he joined the Tampa Bay Rays in the Majors.  Iwamura played at Second Base and Third Base and had 140 Hits as a Major League rookie in 2007.  Iwamura had a better second season in the NL, with 172 Hits, and he would do well until the next year, where his age and injuries caught up to him.
Before his arrival to Tampa, Greg Vaughn had three 40 plus seasons of Home Runs.  While this was late in his career, and the Outfielder would still have pop in his bat and would go to his fourth and final All-Star Game in 2001 as a Ray.
Joey Wendle led the West Chester Golden Rams to a Division II Championship in 2012, and he followed it up with a por career, first with the Oakland Athletics, where he played minimally before he was traded to Tampa. Wendle won the Second Base job out of Spring Training in 2018, and the versatile defensive player was fourth in American League Rookie of the Year voting while batting an even .300.  Wendle was hurt through much of 2019, but was a top player on the 2020 team that won the Pennant.   As of this writing, Wendle is entering his fourth season…
Toby Hall made his Major League debut in Tampa in 2000, where the Catcher appeared in four games.  Hall would progressively play more in the next two seasons for the Rays, and he would play at least 119 Games each year from 2003 to 2005.  Hall was not the best hitter, as he struggled to get his On Base Percentage to .300, but he was solid defensively.  He was in the top five Runners Caught Stealing, and in 2005, he was first in Defensive bWAR.  Hall left Tampa when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the summer…
Tommy Pham was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals at the 2018 trading deadline, and at the time, he was batting .248.  With the Rays, he finished the season batting .343, with a Slugging Percentage of .622.  Pham played the entire 2019 season at Leftfield for the Ray, belting 21 Home Runs with 25 Stolen Bases with a .273 Batting Average.