With camp opening this week, we’re going to begin previewing the roster in segments. Today we’ll focus on the players with the potential to appear in the opening day outfield. The format is as follows:
Expected 2013 role
A brief breakdown of the player
Spent 2012 as left fielder and lead-off hitter.
Expected to start in center or left field and hit lead off again.
Failed to replicate solid rookie season production. Landed on disabled list once again with knee injury. Plate discipline took a step back, leading to on-base issues. Still a dynamic runner and above-average defender. Could replace B.J. Upton in center field; however durability and arm strength could be an issue. Swinging at strikes and passing on balls will be key at plate. – Tommy Rancel
Missed most of 2012 due to shoulder surgery
Expected to compete for a roster spot if healthy
A good athlete with power and speed potential. Iffy plate discipline and good ability to make contact leads to easy-to-field batted balls. Hasn’t proven he can hit big-league pitching. May have missed his window to become an every day player with the organization. High marks for makeup. Plays all out. – R.J. Anderson
Spent 2012 on 25 man roster (missed 23 games on DL)
Expected to be strong-side of the Right Field platoon in 2013
Continues to produce above league-average against right-handed pitching but has been unable to conquer left-handed pitching when given limited opportunities to do so. The team has had him try out playing first base in workouts, but reports say it is very much a work in progress.- Jason Collette
Spent the first-half of 2012 recovering from wrist surgery, played with Rays during second half.
Should be Rays’ fourth outfielder in 2013
May see some starts in the outfield early on, depending on the Rays’ roster construction. Ideal role is on the bench, where his good speed and great defense will come in handy for late-game substitutions. Does not swing often, but his contact rate is stellar when he does offer. – Joel Kennedy-Ramos