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Top 40 "Greatest" Devil Rays of All Time

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It's worth noting that All Time refers to the years of 1998 through 2005 and that this prevents us from having any players with great careers in a Devil Ray uniform. That said, I thought it'd be interesting to see what such a list would look like and also what their best lineup would be. Even if it weren't interesting, I already went through the trouble of typing the information into a spreadsheet for you the reader. So, without furder ado:

I was actually a little surprised to see that the Devil Rays had even the handful of respectable MVP Scores that they do. Aside from that, the only thing that really leapt out at me was that this may be the only list where you'll find players like Bubba Trammell ranked so closely to a player like Wade Boggs. If anyone wants the full list (1-190), let me know. I lack anything more profound to say on the subject of the list, so rather than waste your time attempting to fill space (like this sentence), we ca move right along to our best possible Tampa lineup.

Catcher
This position pretty much had to go to Toby Hall (2005). He hit .290/.321/.476 over 432 at-bats. Solid defense behind the plate combined with a general lack of catching talent present in the Tampa Bay franchise more than made up for the taste his .252 EQA would leave in your mouth.

First Base
Fred McGriff (1999) put up one of the best offensive seasons the franchise has seen hitting .310/.405/.552 over 529 at bats. Even with the damage his glove did to his team, you can't honestly argue that there's a better choice.

Second Base
Jorge Cantu (2005) leads the way for Devil Ray second basemen and it's not close. Cantu hit 40 doubles and 28 home runs while driving in 117 runs. That sort of success has been rare for the Devil Rays from any position.

Third Base
This one's actually a little on the sad side with Bobby Smith (1998) manning the hot corner. He hit a whopping .276/.343/.422 and only makes the lineup because I'm not inclined to let Aubrey Huff play third base and right field.

Shortstop
Julio Lugo (2005) put up the finest Devil Rays season in its short history regardless of position. That's certainly good enough to make the cut for our lineup. .295/.362/.403 from a shortstop who plays the position well can't be ignored.

Left Field
Carl Crawford (2004) walks away with this spot thanks to a combination of hitting, baserunning and fielding. Carl slugged .450 and stole 59 bases while playing a left field that to the best of my memory has never been doubted by any.

Center Field
The 2002 Devil Rays sported the franchise's best centerfielder to date in Randy Winn. He was good for a .298/.360/.461 batting line while playing solid defensively. Playing in 152 games didn't hurt either.

Right Field
Aubrey Huff, the franchise's best player to date, put together the franchise's finest season in right field in 2003 by hitting .311/.367/.555. He hasn't been able to come close to matching it yet, but it only takes one great season to make our list.

Designated Hitter
Gomes (2005) was not someone you wanted to face with the game on the line. He hit .282/.372/.534 after being called up and thanks to the fact that Greg Vaugh played too many games in Left during the 2000 season to qualify for this spot, he's our DH.

Starting Pitcher
This one was easy and it wasn't strictly due to the overall weakness of pitching that Tampa has experienced. Rolando Arrojo put together a very strong 1998 season. His 3.56 ERA and 202.0 IP were excellent, but only enough to win 14 games thanks to the offense.

Overall, that's a little depressing, but there are certainly some bright spots in the Devil Rays franchise history.