The Tampa Bay Rays have a 36-25 record and are currently second in the AL east. Should they continue this pace, should Joe Maddon win manager of the year?
Baseball Prospectus at the beginning of the year had them projected at 90 wins.
Based on statistical analysis, they were projected to have a very good season. Of course, if you just take a look at the team, they are loaded with young talent. Not only that, but a lot of the talent has had a couple years in the majors to develop further.
Their starting pitching is solid. Their line-up is okay. However, if you look at the top three hitters based on VORP (value over replacement player), their second best player is Eric Hinske. I do expect Carlos Pena, when healthy, will elevate his performance.
Joe Maddon deserves consideration if the Devil Rays make the playoffs. However, if the Chicago White Sox make the playoffs, then Ozzie Guillen deserves the AL manager of the year. Even despite his tirade saying that changes need to be made.