How The Rays Were Built.
Keith Allison - Flickr
How The Rays Were Built.
As I was listening to talking heads yesterday, they debated the difference between the Red Sox and Rays as it applies to their losing and winning season
Theo Epstein hasn’t hit on any pitchers outside of the 1st 4 rounds. So I took a look at the Rays roster to see just how the Rays were constructed. How many Rays starters were taken outside the first 4 rounds?
Let’s start in the outfield.
Center fielder B.J. Upton was the first pick overall in 2002.
Left fielder Desmond Jennings was drafted in the 10th round in 2006
Right fielder Matt Joyce (12th round) was a trade with Detroit. He was traded for Edwin Jackson - Jackson was acquired by the Rays in a trade with the Dodgers for Danys Baez and Lance Carter in 2006. Both Baez and Carter were signed as free agents.
This is how the infield was acquired.
Shortstop Sean Rodriquez (drafted 3rd round) was acquired from the Angels as part of the Scott Kazmir trade in 2009. Kazmir was a 1st round pick in 2002 by the Mets and was traded for Bartolomé Fortunato & Victor Zambrano (both free agents).
Catcher John Jaso was drafted by the Rays in the 12th round of the 2003 draft.
For starting pitchers.
David Price was drafted by the Rays 1st overall in 2007.
Jeff Niemann was drafted 4th overall by the Rays in 2004.
Wade Davis was drafted in the 3rd round of 2004 by the Rays.
James Shields was drafted by the Rays in the 16th round of the 2000 draft.
The 5 guys that appeared in the most games this year out of the Rays bullpen are as follows
Joel Peralta - December 17, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cesar Ramos was a 1st round pick in 2005 by the Padres. He was acquired by the Rays in the Jason Bartlett deal. Bartlett was also drafted by the Padres but traded to the Twins. The Twins traded Bartlett and Garza to the Rays for Delmon Young, Jason Pridie and Brendan Harris. Delmon Young was a 1st overall pick by the in 2003. Pridie was a 2nd round pick by the Rays in 2002 and Harris was purchased from the Reds.
Juan Cruz - Signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1997. February 3, 2011: Signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays.
J.P. Howell was a 1st round by the Royals in 2004. – He signed with the Rays as a free agent.
So I broke down those moves.
I looked at the 21 most used players.
Four players are 1st round picks by the Rays. Two of them were first overall. One was 3rd overall and one was 4th.
- There is one player from each of the rounds 2, 3, 4, 10, 12, and 16.
- 5 players were acquired from trades. The players traded for were drafted in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 12th.
- In the process they traded away two first round picks – one of which was 1st overall. They signed 6 free agents, 3 of them are 1st round picks.
So that’s what the Rays are doing right
They did poorly enough to draft highly for a long period of time. They have four players drafted in the top 4 spots on their roster and gathered other pieces by trading a 1st overall pick away. They have 8 first round picks on their roster and 5 more players from rounds 2-4.
So are the Rays really smarter than anyone else? Sure, their scouting is doing well, but how often does the first overall pick flop? The Rays keep players cheap until they can’t afford them anymore and then they get draft picks as replacements. The Rays also aren’t afraid to trade away stars before they hit free agency to replenish their system. These are reasons that the Rays are successful and their salary is so low. Of course, it takes the high paid winning teams to make this possible too - These teams need to overpay for players like Victor Zambrano in order to make a pennant run. What the Rays are doing best is drafting and taking advantage of other teams desperation. But overall, the ways to sustain success is to sustain failure for a while before.
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- Aubrey Huff, B.J. Upton, Bartolome Fortunato, Ben Zobrist, Boston Red Sox, Brendan Harris, Casey Kotchman, Cesar Ramos, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Danys Baez, David Price, Delmon Young, Desmond Jennings, Detroit Tigers, Edwin Jackson, Evan Longoria, Houston Astros, James Shields, Jason Bartlett, Jason Pridie, Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson, Joel Peralta, John Jaso, Johnny Damon, Kansas City Royals, Kelly Shoppach, Kyle Farnsworth, Lance Carter, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Garza, Matthew Joyce, Mitch Talbot, New York Mets, Reid Brignac, San Diego Padres, Scott Kazmir, Sean Rodriguez, Tampa Bay Rays, Theo Epstein, Victor Zambrano, Wade Davis