Five Tampa Bay Rays to Avoid in Your Fantasy Baseball Draft: A Fan’s Take

The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the best teams in the Majors Leagues since 2007.

Since 2007, the Rays have posted four straight winning seasons and have made three playoff appearances. Fans and Fantasy baseball players have taken notice of the Rays and for good reason as they have plenty of talented players such as Evan Longoria, James Shields and Ben Zobrist among others. While those three players would be solid fantasy baseball players, the Rays also have players that fantasy owners shouldn't consider taking in their draft.

The following is my list of five Tampa Bay players to avoid in your fantasy baseball draft.

1. Jose Molina - catcher

It appears that the 36-year-old Molina will see regular playing time for the first time since 2006 when he appeared in 100 games with the New York Yankees.

Molina—who has been relegated to backup duty almost his entire career—will be the Rays starting catcher in 2012. Molina is coming off a 2011 season where he hit .281 with 3 home runs and 15 RBIs in 55 games.

Bottom line is Molina has no value in fantasy baseball even if he hits around .280 in 2012.

2. Luke Scott- outfielder/designated hitter

The 33-year old Scott signed a one-year deal with the Rays in the offseason after an injury filled 2011 campaign.

Scott—had surgery on his right shoulder last season—hit .220 with 9 home runs and 22 RBIs in just 64 games. Prior to 2011, Scott swatted 20-plus homers his previous three seasons.

Scott has potential to hit 20 home runs as the Rays regular designated hitter if he stays healthy. However, I recommend that you look somewhere else in the draft before deciding to with gamble by picking up Scott on the waiver wire. Scott—hasn't ever played more than 148 games in his career—probably will sit against left-handers as he batted just .167 against them in 2011.

3. Carlos Pena - first baseman

The 33-year old Pena returns to the club he has had the most success in his career with.

Pena—signed a one deal with the Rays in the offseason—hit .225 with 28 home runs and 80 RBIs in 2011. Pena also walked 111 times and struck out 161 times in 493 at-bats. In addition, Pena ranked in the top- 25 of the AL in on-base percentage and on-base plus slugging percentage.

Due to his high strikeout totals and low-batting average, I would recommend passing on Pena when drafting because there are better choices. However, Pena—hit 144 home runs in his previous four-year stint with the club—is worth keeping an eye on the waiver wire due to his power.

4. Wade Davis - Starter

The 26-year Davis is currently battling with Jeff Niemann and Matt Moore for one of the Rays final two spots in the rotation.

Davis—11-10 record with a 4.45 ERA in 2011—finished the season with 105 strikeouts, 63 walks and a 1.38 WHIP.

Davis—threw well in his first spring start—is no more than a spot starter in mixed fantasy leagues do to his high WHIP and low a strikeout total.

5. Sean Rodriguez - shortstop

The 26-year old Rodriguez is battling 26-year old Reid Brignac in spring training for the Rays starting shortstop job. Rodriguez—appeared to be the front runner for the job prior to spring training—is currently 3-for-5 in camp though he may be shelved for a while after spraining his right index finger on March 9.

Unless Rodriguez—does have power and speed—shows that he can hit consistently, he has minimal value in mixed fantasy leagues. However, Rodriguez does have some value in AL-only leagues due to his versatility.

Daniel Benjamin has played fantasy baseball for three years.


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Updated Saturday, Mar 10, 2012