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Rays will win AL East in the next three years

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Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby joshheines » Fri May 02, 2008 7:28 am

Congrats to the Rays for being in first place after 28 games. Many prognosticators thought that the Rays would be improved but wouldn't crack .500. I think they'll win 85 games and more in the coming years. While I'm a Mets fan, I always root for an underdog AL team. In recent years, I've rooted for the Royal and the Rays. Greinke, Gordon and Butler are reason enough for me to like the Royals. The Rays are much deeper: Crawford, Upton, Shields, Kazmir, Longoria, and Pena. The Rays have also had the best farm system for the last 2 years and have the #1 pick in the upcoming draft.

How much potential do the baby Rays have? In the pipeline, the Rays have last years #1 pick David Price (Baseball America's #10 prospect), Jake McGee (Baseball America's #15 prospect, and Wade Davis (#17 prospect). All are pitchers. Reid Brignac is the #39 prospect. Brignac could be a 30 HR guy with 15+ SB in the majors, but his average may struggle. After that there is Desmond Jennings at #59. While he won't appear until 2010, the patient athletic OF could be better than Crawford down the road. All the kid did last year was hit 9 HR with 45 SB and a .315 AVG and .401 OBP in only 99 games.

If the Rays are ever going to win the AL East over the Yankees and Red Sox, it's got to be in the next few years. There wealth of young talent is ridiculous. With the first pick in the draft, it looks like they will either select Buster Posey, Florida State catcher prsently hitting .470/.573/.848 after 44 games, Aaron Crow, a Mizzou pitcher who, I beleive, presently has a sub 1.00 ERA.
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby Surfs up » Fri May 02, 2008 7:56 am

Hell with the way the red Sox and Yankees are playing they could win this year and Baltimore place second. I would LOVE to see that !!!!
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri May 02, 2008 9:09 am

I don't know. I still don't think they have a great lineup even with Longoria. The Yanks and RedSox have pretty good farm systems too and the money to fill in the gaps.
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby Yoda » Fri May 02, 2008 9:14 am

It's possible but doubtful.
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby AtlDynasty25 » Fri May 02, 2008 9:35 am

If they want to win it, this might be the year for them to pounce on it. With the Yankees down this year, the Rays need to win it this year before the Yankees have the chance to reload during the offseason. The Sox may still end up winning that division this year, but the door is open a crack. I think it's now or never (well, not NEVER, but you get the idea) for the Rays.
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby joshheines » Fri May 02, 2008 9:40 am

Pogotheostrich wrote:I don't know. I still don't think they have a great lineup even with Longoria. The Yanks and RedSox have pretty good farm systems too and the money to fill in the gaps.


The Sox prospects in the minors aren't that good and there really aren't any all-star caliber impact players. Same with the Yankees. Tabata and Jackson could be impact bats, but they are quite far away. Granted those teams have some impact rookie players, but there depth of minor league impact bats is lightyears behind the Rays.

There is no reason why Longoria can't be a .300/30/100 3B, to go along with Crawford and Upton who could be a regular 20/40 guy. Throw in Pena, who, by the way hit 46 HR last year to go along with Hinske who is performing well and "Let me Play" Johnny Gomes. It's not the best line-up but above average.
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri May 02, 2008 9:50 am

joshheines wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:I don't know. I still don't think they have a great lineup even with Longoria. The Yanks and RedSox have pretty good farm systems too and the money to fill in the gaps.


The Sox prospects in the minors aren't that good and there really aren't any all-star caliber impact players. Same with the Yankees. Tabata and Jackson could be impact bats, but they are quite far away. Granted those teams have some impact rookie players, but there depth of minor league impact bats is lightyears behind the Rays.

There is no reason why Longoria can't be a .300/30/100 3B, to go along with Crawford and Upton who could be a regular 20/40 guy. Throw in Pena, who, by the way hit 46 HR last year to go along with Hinske who is performing well and "Let me Play" Johnny Gomes. It's not the best line-up but above average.

We'll see. I have no reason to think Pena can recreate 2007 and Hinske is a non-issue. Crawford is a good hitter but he isn't great. In 2007 the Red Sox had 7 hitters with a higher OBP than Crawford and the Yankees had 5. Upton and Longoria can be impact bats but I don't see the Rays becoming a top offense anytime soon.
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby raiders_umpire » Fri May 02, 2008 10:23 am

joshheines wrote:Congrats to the Rays for being in first place after 28 games. Many prognosticators thought that the Rays would be improved but wouldn't crack .500. I think they'll win 85 games and more in the coming years. While I'm a Mets fan, I always root for an underdog AL team. In recent years, I've rooted for the Royal and the Rays. Greinke, Gordon and Butler are reason enough for me to like the Royals. The Rays are much deeper: Crawford, Upton, Shields, Kazmir, Longoria, and Pena. The Rays have also had the best farm system for the last 2 years and have the #1 pick in the upcoming draft.

How much potential do the baby Rays have? In the pipeline, the Rays have last years #1 pick David Price (Baseball America's #10 prospect), Jake McGee (Baseball America's #15 prospect, and Wade Davis (#17 prospect). All are pitchers. Reid Brignac is the #39 prospect. Brignac could be a 30 HR guy with 15+ SB in the majors, but his average may struggle. After that there is Desmond Jennings at #59. While he won't appear until 2010, the patient athletic OF could be better than Crawford down the road. All the kid did last year was hit 9 HR with 45 SB and a .315 AVG and .401 OBP in only 99 games.

If the Rays are ever going to win the AL East over the Yankees and Red Sox, it's got to be in the next few years. There wealth of young talent is ridiculous. With the first pick in the draft, it looks like they will either select Buster Posey, Florida State catcher prsently hitting .470/.573/.848 after 44 games, Aaron Crow, a Mizzou pitcher who, I beleive, presently has a sub 1.00 ERA.



I hope you are right on everything except for the selection this year. Crow or Posey should not be the first pick. It is either Pedro Alvarez or Tim Beckham. The Rays while better so far this year, still have some improving to do to compete with the Sox or Yanks and payrolls that can better 150 million. For us to compete for the division title in a certain year, all of our guys have to produce in that year.
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby Bloody Sox » Fri May 02, 2008 10:56 am

joshheines wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:I don't know. I still don't think they have a great lineup even with Longoria. The Yanks and RedSox have pretty good farm systems too and the money to fill in the gaps.


The Sox prospects in the minors aren't that good and there really aren't any all-star caliber impact players. Same with the Yankees. Tabata and Jackson could be impact bats, but they are quite far away. Granted those teams have some impact rookie players, but there depth of minor league impact bats is lightyears behind the Rays.

There is no reason why Longoria can't be a .300/30/100 3B, to go along with Crawford and Upton who could be a regular 20/40 guy. Throw in Pena, who, by the way hit 46 HR last year to go along with Hinske who is performing well and "Let me Play" Johnny Gomes. It's not the best line-up but above average.

I disagree with your assertion of the Red Sox minor league system. The Sox have been promoting 2-3 impact rookies to the big leagues every year for the last three years (2006: Papelbon, Lester, Youkilis. 2007: Pedroia, Ellsbury, Delcarmen. 2008: Buchholz, Moss, Lowrie). Next year we'll be talking about Bowden and Masterson, then after that Kotteras, Anderson, Kalish, and any number of very promising A-leaguers. I'd say they have a pretty good system working. How do you know who the all-star caliber players are going to be when those guys are in the minors? There have been endless numbers of "can't miss" guys who never become perennial all-stars.

That said, I agree that the Rays have quite a few very good prospects and they could be very good in the next few years, especially if they keep adding cheap guys like Pena and Hinske who exceed expectations. They are a fun team to watch.
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Re: Rays will win AL East in the next three years

Postby BronXBombers51 » Fri May 02, 2008 11:21 am

As much as I like what the Rays are doing, I don't think the Yankees are getting any more vulnerable. They might miss the playoffs this year, but I'm very excited at what their future holds. They cut $80 million in payroll after this year, and $20 more after 2009. In two years they will have essentially eliminated half of their payroll and wiped the slate clean from all of the awful dealings that they've made since 2002.

Now, of course they could just go out and re-spend all the money on overpriced players again, but I don't see an indication that they will. They've been a lot more weary of signing outside talent to big deals since Cashman re-signed with the team. They've also gone from the #27 farm system in baseball in 2004 to the #5 this year. A 2009 Opening Day roster with Posada, Cano, Rodriguez, Jeter, Damon, Cabrera and Matsui is still one of the tops in the league, and they can use some of that $80 million to fill the hole at 1B (Teixiera?). As you mentioned, they have Tabata and Jackson waiting in the wings for when Damon and Matsui leave after 2009. And they'll have a pitching staff built around Hughes, Chamberlain, Wang and Kennedy, with Rivera still at the back of that bullpen and plenty of capable MRs like Ohlendorf, Albaladejo, Bruney, Ramirez, Britton and more.

I just think that while Tampa is getting very good, the Yankees are also improving their situation. If the Yankees can couple efficient management decisions with their ability to spend money, they can be deadly.
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