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Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day Countdown: 20 Days to Go

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The Rays right fielders of the past decade represented the number 20

Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

We are down to 20 days left until Opening Day!

Here are the players in franchise history to have worn the number 20, with a couple of team’s top slugging right fielders representing the top of the list

  • Scott McClain (1998)
  • Miguel Cairo (1998)
  • Vinny Castilla (2000)
  • Bob Smith (2000-2002)
  • Dave McCarty (2002)
  • Javier Valetin (2003)
  • Midre Cummings (2004)
  • Mike Difelice (2008)
  • Matt Joyce (2009-2014)
  • Steven Souza (2015-2017)

During the team’s inaugural season, Scott McClain and Miguel Cairo split time with the number 20, with Cairo eventually taking on the number 13 for the rest of his Devil Rays tenure.

In 2000, Vinny Castilla came to the Rays and helped form the famously dubbed Hit Show, that failed significantly. Castilla was one of the top slugging third basemen of the 90’s, but dealt with numerous injuries. Most of his time with the club however, was not spent wearing the number 20, as he switched to the number 9 at some point during the 2000 season.

Throughout the years, several part time role players for the team would don the number 20 before Matt Joyce was acquired prior to the start of the 2009 season. Upon his promotion to the majors, Matt Joyce took the jersey and would proceed to wear the number through the 2014 season, enjoying plenty of success along the way, including an All Star campaign in 2011.

Overall, Joyce accrued a total of 10.5 fWAR for the Rays and hit .250/.342/.435 with 76 HR, putting up 118 wRC+ along the way.

During the same off-season that Matt Joyce was traded away, the Rays acquired Steven Souza Jr from the Washington Nationals. Souza would take over Joyce’s spot in right field as well as Joyce’s uniform number.

In the three years that followed, Souza enraged and then delighted Rays fans with his fun, all out style of play. He demolished opposing pitches, sending moonshots all over stadiums across the league. The Rays would trade Souza at onset of spring training this year, officially ending his time with the Rays. Overall, he accrued 6.4 fWAR while hitting .238/.327/.426 with 63 HR, putting up 107 wRC+ along the way.

Check back tomorrow as the countdown continues.