Now Batting For The Tampa Bay Rays…

Prior to the season, I noted at One More Dying Quail that as a Red Sox fan, the Tampa Bay Rays scared me.  This was immediately before I compared them to the 1969 Mets, a historically awful team that rode a bunch of young talent to the World Series.  The common response to the post was something along the lines of, “Oh, silly OMDQ – you know the Rays will never actually be good.” 

Jeez, I’m not looking so crazy now, am I?

The Rays are currently performing what figures to be a multi-year hostile takeover of the American League East, and they’re only getting better.  Following an injury to shortstop Jason Bartlett in Wednesday’s win over the Red Sox (that’ll teach you to stage six-run rallies!  Jerks!), Tampa Bay recalled Reid Brignac from Durham (AAA-International), where he was hitting .265 with 7 homeruns and 38 RBI in 78 games.

Brignac, the team’s fifth-rated prospect according to Baseball America, was a second-round draft pick in 2004 out of Louisiana’s St. Amant High School.  (That was a potentially great draft for the Rays: four of the top five picks – Jeff Niemann, Brignac, Wade Davis and Jake McGee – are still top ten prospects, and 13th rounder Andy Sonnanstine has provided some value in the starting rotation the past two seasons.)  He has progressed steadily through the system, showing some offensive pop and earning a reputation as the best defensive infielder in the organization.

Nobody knows how much he’ll play or how long he’ll be in the majors, except maybe Joe Maddon, but the mere sight of Brignac and Evan Longoria, two 22-year-old representatives of the organization’s exceedingly bright future, together on the left side of the infield is sure to make even the most hardened Rays fans shed tears of joy.

Gosh, it could be REALLY fun to watch the American League East for the next five to ten years.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. It’s absolutely insane how much the Rays have in their minor-league system, too. I’ll be interested to see if they trade some of those young arms away to get veteran help for a playoff run, or hold on to them and make Yanks and Sox fans turn green.

    Reply

  2. It’s pretty scary that they could lose Jake McGee for the season and still have at least four more pitchers who aren’t that far from being ready.

    If they do deal, I hope they’re smart about it. I can never be a Rays fan, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like seeing them enjoy some success. It’s exciting to see all that young talent working together. I’d hate to see them lose that by giving up too much for a veteran rental.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Phil Hilton on August 18, 2008 at 12:48 am

    I love to watch the Rays, but hate to watch Upton because of his obnoxious and continual spitting. If he caught the difficult fly balls as well as he spits, he’d be an all star. As it is, he’s just a blight on an otherwise great team.

    Reply

  4. […] Reid as well (I think this officially makes him the first prospect to be so honored twice – I gave him a much better welcome last year).  He was called up on Friday to replace Scott Kazmir and could be around for awhile now that […]

    Reply

  5. […] Reid as well (I think this officially makes him the first prospect to be so honored twice – I gave him a much better welcome last year).  He was called up on Friday to replace Scott Kazmir and could be around for awhile now that […]

    Reply

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