It's FanPost Friday, a season long tradition at DRaysBay that has produced more posts suggesting posts than actual posts. After a season long accumulation of guilt got the better of me, I have been inspired to contribute.
The DRB community's response to Ashley's weekly plea has been about as strong as Reid Brignac's MLB offensive production.
Rather than just suggest who is the most surprising Ray, I will share with you a top 10 list. Contrary to what you have learned to expect here on DRB, this is all just shooting from the hip and light on facts. With a copy of Excel and two minutes time,
SandyKaz Andersbot would call this whole thing out as Fake News, but here goes...
Number 10: Wilmer Font
In keeping with the Rays magical ability to pull of reclamation projects, Font held opposing batters to just a .158 average and a WHIP under 1.0. Here's to hoping he'll return in 2019 and pickup where he left off.
Number 9: The Rays Opener
Some people might say I'm wrong: "Wait! Wilmer Font put up better numbers than The Opener."
While that is true, his injury limited his innings. Despite extremely strong numbers early in the season, he deserves to rank below someone who proved to be valuable all season long.
It seems like we're talking about someone else, doesn't it?
Number 8: Bullpen Day is a Top of Rotation Starter
Number 7: Chris Archer is Not a Top of Rotation Starter
But that is not our problem. Thank you Pittsburgh.
Actually, thank you, too, Chris. We loved having you as a Ray, and we will love to see you continue to succeed.
Number 6: Jake Bauers
Putting up a wRC+ of 170 through June 25, it was exciting to see one of our future big bats begin his major league career.
Number 5: Jake Bauers after June 25
Putting up a wRC+ of just 71 after his hot start is a surprise, but hasn't hurt much because the team has done so well despite Jake's slump.
Number 4: Matt Duffy's Second to Worst ISO
Matt Duffy has put up an ISO of 0.073, second worst only to Dee Gordon among qualifying players. I can't do the math in my head, but this means that he gets an extra base hit like, hardly, ever.
Rumor has it that during batting practice Matt's cat -- may he rest in peace -- could hit gappers that would bound over the center field wall, giving new meaning to the term dead cat bounce...
"People call me Skeeter, and I hit ground rule doubles."
Number 3: The Mallex Effect
Performing at a level that seems too good to be true, Mallex just keeps going. Look at his increase in exit velocity this year over last. That provides evidence that Mallex is truly improving, and not just lucky.
Let's be honest, don't we all wish KK would borrow Mallex's notebook this off season?
Number 2: Joey Wendle
He went from battling for a roster spot to becoming an actual ROY candidate. Wendle looks like the next Zobrist, but with way better walkup music.
Number 1: Cyzilla
It's not a surprise he is great.
What is a surprise is that he may finish with 20 wins and an ERA under 2.00 in his first full season in the majors.
That's it, my Top 10 Most Surprising Rays, with all apologies to Ashley, Skeeter, and Julianna Zobrist.