2014 Fantasy Baseball Team Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

Myers should rack up 20 homers with around 80 RBI and 80 runs in 2014.

David Manning/David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

As FOX Sports Florida’s Andrew Astleford mentioned in his MLB team preview, the Rays’ bullpen ranked 18th in big-league ERA (3.59) compared to their Top 10 rotation which posted a 3.81 ERA last season.  However, when you combine the starters with the relievers, the Rays held opposing hitters to an American League-best .240 batting average.

Each starter in the rotation is going to land on a fantasy roster in each league this season.  On the flip side, I only see three start-worthy bats on the roster in 2014.

Key additions: Ryan Hanigan

Key losses: Fernando Rodney

1. David DeJesus LF

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2. Ben Zobrist 2B

3. Evan Longoria 3B

4. Wil Myers RF

5. Matt Joyce DH

6. James Loney 1B

7. Desmond Jennings CF

8. Yunel Escobar SS

9. Ryan Hanigan C

After back-to-back season with 20 home runs, Ben Zobrist only managed 12 dingers in 2013.  His 77 runs scored tied the fewest in a season for the second basemen since he became a full-time MLB player.  Zobrist remains a top 10 fantasy second baseman in our composite fantasy rankings.

Longoria’s 30-90-90 potential ranks him within the top three fantasy third basemen, which includes Miguel Cabrera in most leagues.

After playing in 88 MLB games last season, Myers – the prospect the Rays acquired in the James Shields-to-the-Royals trade – continues to work his way into the Top 10 fantasy outfielders conversation.  If he can post 20-plus homers with 80 RBI and 80 runs along with a .275 BA / .350 OBP, his fantasy stock will soar heading into 2015.

1. David Price

2. Alex Cobb

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3. Matt Moore

4. Chris Archer

5. Jake Odorizzi

CL: Grant Balfour

Cobb took a line drive to the head and missed about 10 starts recovering.  Fantasy owners and MLB fans missed out on the next ace of the staff if David Price relocates to a larger market.  AC is 25-14 in the big leagues with a 3.39 ERA and 7.50 K/9 rate that, according to the last two seasons, is on the rise to 8.50.

Odorizzi was 9-6 in 22 Triple-A starts last season and posted a 3.33 ERA and 8.98 K/9 rate.  With Jeremy Hellickson on the mend (elbow), Odorizzi will start the season in the bigs and if Hellickson returns, but Price moves on, would remain a piece of the Rays’ rotation puzzle.

Jake Odorizzi (SP)

Hak-Ju Lee (SS)

Yunel Escobar is the band-aid until Lee is ready for the show.  The speedy shortstop swiped 37 bases at Double-A in 2012 and missed all but 15 Triple-A games last season as he recovered from knee surgery.  It’s a big year for the 23-year-old as the Rays are desperate for a new option atop the lineup.  No offense, Mr. DeJesus.  Enjoy reading into and placing emphasis on specific words in that previous sentence.

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