Who is the most likely left fielder at the end of spring training? Bautista had one of his best years ever last season, and he only had 733 OPS. That should tell you something about Danny. He is best suited in a role as a bench player. Jonny Gomes tore the cover off the ball at AAA Durham last season. Still, he only managed to get 14 ABs in big leagues. He is a player alot of teams looking to add outfield depth have asked Chuck about. Luckily, he is still a DRay. Then, there is Joey Gathright another young DRays prospect. This guy has flat out speed. He is even faster than Carl. He gets on base at a terrific rate but does not have much power. He reminds me of a Ichiro Suzuki lite. This battle will not come down to a single player. It will be two headed monster (ha ha). Bautista, and the pick of either Gomes or Gathright. My prediction is Gomes.
Is BJ Upton ready to play every day in majors? I would say the answer is yes. The ball bounces up the middle the same way in Tampa as it does in Durham. His bat is solid with all around plate discipline. Unfortunately, Rays seem determined to have Upton go down to Durham for most the year to work on his defense. I dont buy that. My prediction is he is here for good beginning in May. His bat is too good to pass up.