4. Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays’ RFs – Steven Souza, Nick Franklin, Mallex Smith
The Rays don’t look much better in right field, honestly. Souza is a strikeout machine, but if he can change that he may be able to help the Rays.
Souza hit .247/.303/.409 in 2016 with 17 HRs, 17 2Bs, 49 RBIs and 58 runs in 120 games. He also had 159 strikeouts, 10th most in the AL, despite only playing 120 games. That after striking out 144 times in 110 games in 2015. But, the power isn’t there for someone who strikes out a lot. The Orioles have made a living on players like Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo, who have a ton of power and also strike out a lot. Souza has shown glimpses of that power, but not consistently.
Souza has never had a positive dWAR in his career, another strike against him. His range factor per nine innings was quite good in 2016, top five in the league. However, his total fielding runs above average is below zero, while his defensive runs saved is slightly above average. So, Souza has good range but won’t present himself as the best fielder around. He has made a few highlight catches in his career, as Baltimore Orioles fans can attest to.
Behind him, Franklin is likely to be the Rays’ utilityman, with Smith, a possible fourth outfielder, although he may need a little more seasoning in AAA Durham.