Tampa Bay's unheralded stars
The Rays should no longer be seen as a pitching-and-defense-only squad
Ever since the Tampa Bay Rays became a contending team back in 2008, they have had a reputation as a pitching-and-defense team. It's a reputation that was never more apparent than last season, when the team finished third in pitching WAR.
This season though, Tampa, which moved up two spots this week to No. 11 in the ESPN Power Rankings, showed that it has plenty of thunder on offense as well, and it might be time to rethink that reputation.
It seems as if the Rays have gone from Internet darlings to fairly passé recently, and nowhere is this better exemplified than in the person of Evan Longoria. He has long been one of the best players in the game, but injuries kept him from amassing bulk stats last season. He was still productive when he played, as his .378 wOBA can attest, but it was in only 74 games. This season, he has already played 85 games and has matched the 17 homers he hit last season.
To read more about Tampa Bay's offense, become an Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- MRI shows damage to Corbin's UCL in elbow
- HOF Schmidt recovering from skin cancer
- Orioles' Machado: Don't know about opener
- Source: Tigers' Iglesias to sit out until break
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- '47 Brand Women's Tampa Bay Rays Sparkle Navy Adjustable Hat