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Rays Hoping To Re-Create Draft Magic

The Rays hold the number four overall pick in tomorrow’s first round selections. But how have the former first round players done after the draft?

Since 1996, Tampa Bay has draft 27 players in the first round of the MLB Draft. Some that turned out to be game-changing. Some…not so much.

A few of those picks have turned out to be some of the best to ever wear a Rays uniform.

BJ Upton

Now going by his given name, Melvin Upton Jr., he was known affectionately by Rays fans as BJ. Drafted second overall in 2002, Upton played in a total of eight seasons with Tampa Bay before leaving for Atlanta, followed by a partial season with San Diego. He is currently part of the Toronto organization but has not played in a game in 2017.

For the Rays, he ranks fourth in team history in games played, plate appearances, at-bats, runs scored, hits, singles, doubles, total bases, home runs, and walks. He is second in team history in strikeouts, and sixth in RBI. He is also in the top-10 in 23 other batting categories, according to baseball-reference.com. He is also the only person in team history to hit for the cycle.

David Price

Currently a member of division rival Boston, David Price was the first overall pick in 2007 out of Vanderbilt University. Brought up in late 2008, Price helped push the Rays all the way to the World Series. Although he was only with Tampa Bay until the trade deadline in 2014, he ranks among the top-3 in 28 pitching categories in team history.

He is also the only Cy Young winner in team history.

Evan Longoria

Probably the most impactful first round pick, Evan Longoria, was drafted third overall in 2006. Currently in his 10th season, he is the journeyman for the organization, and is signed until at least 2022.

Already a three-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove winner, a Silver Slugger winner, AND Rookie of the Year for the American League in 2008, Longoria leads in 26 out of 42 batting categories for Tampa Bay. And that number can only go up, as he is nearing the lead in several more.

On Saturday, during game two of the doubleheader, Longoria added to his team home run lead, with his 250th career shot. This coming after his franchise leading eighth walk-off hit in game one that sealed at minimum a series split with Oakland.

Let’s Play One…

On Monday, all of Major League Baseball comes together looking to draft the next big star. But first, the Rays have to finish the series against Oakland. After a split on Saturday, the Rays have at least secured a tie or a win, and have avoided the loss.

To close out the series, the Rays send ace Chris Archer (4-4, 3.65) against Jesse Hahn (2-4, 3.40).

Here is the remainder of the line-ups for Sunday’s match-up, first pitch is at 1:10 PM



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