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.

This list is up to the end of the 2019 season.

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

After two uneventful years with San Diego, Brad Boxberger was traded to the Rays, and in 2014 he had a good year coming out of the pen with a 2.37 ERA with 104 Strikeouts in 64.2 Innings.  Boxberger would be given the closer’s job when Jake McGee went down to injury, and while he had an ERA of 3.71, he led the American League in Saves with 41.
A First Round pick in 2004, Jeff Niemann would reach the main Tampa roster in 2008, and from 2009 to 2011, he was a regular on the Rays’ rotation.  In each of those seasons, Niemann had at least 11 Wins, with the first two seeing him eclipse 170 Innings Pitched.
We can understand if you think that Tanyon Sturtze doesn’t belong on this list.  After playing for the Cubs, Rangers, and White Sox, he was traded to Tampa, during the 2000 Season, and had a nice finish to the year.  Sturtze went 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA and would make the starting rotation the year after.  It was an 11-12 year, which was uneventful, but he went a dismal 4-18, and had the most Losses, Hits Allowed, Walks, and Earned Runs.  That wasn’t very good, but this was a major league starter on a team that is still young.  His…
Danys Baez was only with the Tampa Bay Rays for two seasons, but they were quality years and the best he had over his ten years in the Majors.
Playing only two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Mallex Smith’s Rays career was bookended by traded from and to the Seattle Mariners. 
Grant Balfour’s best days were with the Oakland Athletics, but the longest tenure of the Australian’s career was with the Tampa Bay Rays. 
Victor Zambrano began his Major League career with Tampa after being released from the Yankees organization in 1996.  Five years later, he made the big roster, appearing in 36 Games (all in relief), and went 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA.
Half of J.P. Howell’s MLB career was spent in a Tampa Bay uniform, and it was in the state of Florida where he had his best success.
An All-Star in 2003, Lance Carter, did not even play in 2001 due to injury.  Without a home, he signed with the Rays for 2002 and reached the team for eight games.
Albie Lopez was an original Tampa Bay Devil Ray after being chosen 48th overall in the Expansion Draft from the Cleveland Indians.  The original Devil Ray played out of the pen in his first two seasons in Florida, and in his last full season with the Devil Rays (2000), he went 11-13 over 185.1 Innings.  

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Corey Dickerson played for the Tampa Bay Rays for two seasons, and while he had a sub .300 On Base Per Percentage in his first season with the Rays (2016), but he did have good power with 36 Doubles, 24 Home Runs, and 70 RBIs.  He had a much better year in 2017, where he had 27 Home Runs and raised his Batting Average to .285.  Dickerson would be rewarded with an All-Star Selection for his effort.
Miguel Cairo was in the Cubs system and was taken with the eighth pick of the Expansion Draft.  This transaction allowed the Venezuelan to be inserted as the starting Second Baseman of the Rays, where he saw the most playing time of his life.  Cairo showed good defensive metrics with the most Total Zone Runs by an American League Second Baseman in 1998, and he was first in Range Factor per Game at his league position in 1999.