The Tampa Bay Rays had another successful season despite falling short of their ultimate goal. No one can take anything away from a team that had the third-lowest payroll in all of baseball and still made the playoffs in the most difficult division in the big leagues. Looking towards next season, who is one player that must have an impact for the Rays in 2014?
American League Rookie of the Year Wil Myers was outstanding in 2013. There is no question he is every bit as good as the organization had anticipated, which certainly proves why Tampa Bay is competitive every season. It is great that Myers was so successful in his first year in the majors. With that being said, it is imperative that he build off his dominating performance next year.
Myers has to be the impact player the Rays desperately need in order to be effective in the American League East division. The fact is the Rays could lose some star power in the offseason, which means the talented players they do have must step up.
Obviously, it is asking a lot for Myers to improve on his .293 batting average, 13 home runs, 53 RBI and 23 doubles. However, he should be able to do just that when he is given more than 335 at-bats to work with next year.
The good news is the Rays have a solid core of star power that can take the load off Myers’ shoulders. No one expects him to carry the offense. Nonetheless, he will be someone that must carry a presence every time he steps into the batter’s box or in the outfield.