With Ji-Man Choi leading the way, first base looks to be a strong position for the Rays heading into camp next month.
ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays have had plenty of solid first baseman come and go from their organization. From Fred McGriff to Carlos Pena, James Loney to Logan Morrison, there have been many different types of hitters and fielders over the years at the position. Fast-forward to 2020 and the Rays are likely starting the year with Ji-Man Choi at first with plenty of solid depth behind him. How will things shape up through camp? The first base position is one of the more intriguing position battles heading into spring training.
Choi – Not much of a doubt he starts the majority of the games if he stays healthy. He had a break-out 2019 hitting 19 home runs and driving in 63 while .261 in 127 games.
Nate Lowe – Still considered a rookie in 2020, Lowe played in 50 games last season hitting 7 home runs and a .779 OPS.
Yoshimoto Tsutsugo – The newly signed Japanese superstar will get some reps at first base along with other positions he’s very capable of playing.
Brian O’Grady – Another 0ff-season acquisition traded from the Reds back in November. He’ll likely start at AAA barring a white-hot spring campaign. He can also play outfield.
Yandy Diaz – If healthy, he could be the one to split time with Choi if the Rays start Lowe at Durham. He’s likely to start at third and get most his reps there and at DH.
Plenty of power and plenty of solid gloves will make first base a position Kevin Cash can take his time piecing together the depth chart through camp.
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