When scouring through the FanGraphs leaderboards for an article I wrote, I came across a number of fun facts about the Rays. I couldn't use most of them in the piece, so I've saved them for you guys. It's pretty silly stuff, but I like looking at trivia like this:
- Over the last three seasons (as in, since the Rays became good), the Rays have had the best position players in baseball, racking up a total of 93.7 WAR (offense and defense). That's higher than both the Red Sox and Yankees. Both those teams were better than the Rays offensively (.350 wOBA vs. .336 wOBA), but the Rays outstripped them by far on defense.
- Also over the last three seasons, the Rays have been the most patient team in baseball with a 10.3% walk rate. Only 11 teams had walk rates of 9% or higher, and the Rays were a full 0.4% better than the second best team, the Red Sox (9.9%).
- The Rays did strike out a lot, though, and their 22.8% strikeout rate was fourth worst in baseball. This led to a low batting average - .257, eighth worst in baseball - and kept their offense from approaching the same level as the Yanks and Red Sox. Instead, the Rays have had to settle for the fourth best offense (.336 wOBA, behind the third place Rangers).
- And finally, over the "Aughts" (2000-2009), the (Devil) Rays had the worst bullpen in the majors, tallying only 11 WAR (and that's including J.P. Howell and Grant Balfour from 2008-2009). The worst pitcher in the worst bullpen of the decade? Troy Percival, who contributed -1.1 WAR to the Rays over his time in Tampa Bay. Ugh.