The Tampa Bay Rays may have not made it into the playoffs, but they have several former members of their organization who have helped pave the path for other teams to make it.
There are only seven games left to be played of major league baseball this year, if the series merits seven games, and those will be played by the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians with game one starting tonight at 8 eastern at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
For those of you who should obviously have been wondering which of your favorite former Rays were on these World Series bound teams, then look no further.
Guyer was acquired by the Rays back in January of 2011 in the mega Matt Garza deal that netted the Rays several top prospects, including Chris Archer. Guyer would make his Rays debut later that season, but would spend the next couple of years splitting time between Durham, Tampa, and the disabled list.
That is, until he found his niche, which was hitting left-handed pitchers and also him, himself getting hit by pitches. He currently hold the Rays all-time and single-season records for being hit by pitches. He was dealt to the Indians at the 2016 trade deadline for a couple of minor league prospects. While with Cleveland, he has slashed .333/.438/.469 over 38 games with a 153 wRC+ as they made their final push to the playoffs
The first player that the Rays drafted to reach the majors was Mickey Callaway. The selected him in the 7th round of the 1996 draft and he’d make his major league debut three years later in 1999. His major league pitching career would turn out lack luster, but it would turn out that as bad as he was on the hill, he was the opposite in the dugout.
Callaway managed to bridge his pitching career into a spot as the prized pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians who Terry Francona places a lot of the credit on for the Tribe making it where they are today.
Maddon came to the Rays in 2006 after decades in the Angels organization. After two very rough years to start his tenure, everything clicked and the Rays made it all the way to the world series. From 2008 to 2013, under Joe Maddon, the Rays were the best team in baseball.
Then, he left the club immediately following the 2014 season and took over the Cubs managerial position with the goal to bring a championship to Wrigley for the first time since 1908. He is four victories from accomplishing that goal.
Martinez was drafted by the Cubs in 1983 and made his debut in 1986. He’d spend the next two decades being a journeyman outfielder, making stops in Montreal, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Texas, Atlanta, and Toronto. During his stop with the Rays, he recorded the first hit in franchise history.
After retiring, he would become the Rays bench coach and he has enjoyed possibly the best run of success anyone could hope for to start out their coaching career as he began with the Rays in 2008 and left with Maddon following 2014 to become the Cubs bench coach.
A former MLB top 100 prospect, Montgomery has been traded already three times in his brief career as the Royals flipped him to Tampa in the James Shields trade, the Rays flipped him two years later to the Mariners for Erasmo Ramirez, and this past July the Cubs acquired him for prospects from Seattle.
Originally a starter, Montgomery has flourished in the pen and since joining the Cubs in July, he has helped bridge the gap from the starting rotation to the closing pitchers with excellent numbers.
Zobrist was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2004 and after quickly advancing through the minors thanks to some strong on-base numbers, he would be traded to the Rays in July of 2006 and make his debut later that month. After being up-and-down from the minors for a few years, he caught fire in 2009 and became Zorilla.
He went through a six year phase where he was among the best players in baseball thanks to his versatility and stellar consistent offensive production. The Rays eventually traded him and he’d make his way to the Royals, winning the world series in 2015. He would later sign with the Chicago Cubs and is in position to win his second consecutive championship, using his defensive flexibility to man left field for the Cubs in Game 1.