Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 2012 Tampa Bay Rays

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Consequently, Hank Aaron is listed on the Braves roster for the duration of his career while the Blue Jays claim Carlos Delgado and the Brewers declare Paul Molitor. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition.  Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.

Expanding on my research for the book, the following series of articles will reveal the finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. Additional information and a discussion forum are available at TuataraSoftware.com.


OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams

OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams

OPW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “original” teams


The 2012 Tampa Bay Rays             OWAR: 46.4     OWS: 254     OPW%: .607

GM Chuck Lamar acquired 77.7% (21 of 27) of the ballplayers on the 2012 Rays roster. With the exception of Elliot Johnson and Jose Veras all of the players were selected during the Amateur Draft. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 2012 Rays registered 98 victories and secured the American League Eastern division title by a 16-game margin over the New York Yankees.

David Price (20-5, 2.56) collected the 2012 AL Cy Young Award for his superlative campaign in which he topped the Junior Circuit in victories and ERA while striking out 205 batters. “Big Game” James Shields (15-10, 3.52) tallied 223 whiffs and fashioned a 1.168 WHIP. Jeremy Hellickson (10-11, 3.10) provided a reliable effort in his sophomore season and added a Gold Glove Award to his trophy case. Jason Hammel (8-6, 3.43) and Matt Moore (11-11, 3.81) stabilized the back-end of the rotation.

Jake McGee led the bullpen crew with a 1.95 ERA and a WHIP of 0.795. Wade Davis contributed an ERA of 2.43 in 54 relief appearances after starting 64 contests in the three prior campaigns.

David Price SP 6.4 19.12
Jeremy Hellickson SP 3.57 11.21
James Shields SP 2.85 12.33
Jason Hammel SP 2.82 9.74
Matt Moore SP 1.76 8.07
Jake McGee RP 1.09 7.5
Wade Davis RP 0.9 6.43
Jose Veras RP 0.75 5.01
Chris Seddon SW 0.37 1.97
Chad Gaudin RP -0.46 2.68
Alex Cobb SP 1.14 6.18
Jeff Niemann SP 0.5 2.07
Dan Wheeler RP -0.68 0

Josh Hamilton blasted 43 round-trippers and scored 103 runs (both career-bests) en route to a fifth-place finish in the 2012 A.L. MVP balloting. B.J. Upton and protégé Desmond Jennings nabbed 31 bags apiece at the top of the order. Upton established a personal best with 28 circuit clouts. Evan Longoria batted .289 with 17 jacks despite missing 88 games due to a partially torn hamstring. John Jaso delivered a career-high .394 OBP and Jonny “Ironsides” Gomes swatted 18 big-flies. 

B. J. Upton CF 2.56 19.64
Desmond Jennings LF 1.62 15.18
Josh Hamilton DH/CF 4.39 25.5
Evan Longoria 3B 2.39 11.12
Jonny Gomes RF/DH 2.05 13.04
John Jaso C/DH 2.83 15.96
Aubrey Huff 1B 0.07 1.14
Elliot Johnson 2B/SS 1.02 8.62
Reid Brignac SS -0.19 0.52
Carl Crawford LF 0.46 3.19
Jason Pridie RF 0.1 0.5
Matt Diaz LF -0.25 1.61
Stephen Vogt C -0.35 0.16
Delmon Young DH -1.37 6.95

The “Original” 2012 Tampa Bay Rays roster

NAME POS WAR WS General Manager Scouting Director
David Price SP 6.4 19.12 Andrew Friedman R.J. Harrison
Josh Hamilton CF 4.39 25.5 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Jeremy Hellickson SP 3.57 11.21 Chuck LaMar Tim Wilken
James Shields SP 2.85 12.33 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
John Jaso DH 2.83 15.96 Chuck LaMar
Jason Hammel SP 2.82 9.74 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
B. J. Upton CF 2.56 19.64 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Evan Longoria 3B 2.39 11.12 Andrew Friedman R.J. Harrison
Jonny Gomes DH 2.05 13.04 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Matt Moore SP 1.76 8.07 Andrew Friedman R.J. Harrison
Desmond Jennings LF 1.62 15.18 Andrew Friedman R.J. Harrison
Alex Cobb SP 1.14 6.18 Andrew Friedman R.J. Harrison
Jake McGee RP 1.09 7.5 Chuck LaMar Cam Bonifay
Elliot Johnson SS 1.02 8.62 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Wade Davis RP 0.9 6.43 Chuck LaMar Cam Bonifay
Jose Veras RP 0.75 5.01 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Jeff Niemann SP 0.5 2.07 Chuck LaMar Cam Bonifay
Carl Crawford LF 0.46 3.19 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Chris Seddon SW 0.37 1.97 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Jason Pridie RF 0.1 0.5 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Aubrey Huff 1B 0.07 1.14 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Reid Brignac SS -0.19 0.52 Chuck LaMar Cam Bonifay
Matt Diaz LF -0.25 1.61 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Stephen Vogt C -0.35 0.16 Andrew Friedman R.J. Harrison
Chad Gaudin RP -0.46 2.68 Chuck LaMar Dan Jennings
Dan Wheeler RP -0.68 0 Chuck LaMar
Delmon Young DH -1.37 6.95 Chuck LaMar

Honorable Mention

The “Original” 2008 Rays                   OWAR: 39.4     OWS: 276     OPW%: .528

Five members of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays accrued at least 20 Win Shares including Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Aubrey Huff, Evan Longoria and Akinori Iwamura. Hamilton hit .304 with 32 jacks and a League-leading 130 RBI. “Huff Daddy” launched 32 four-baggers and knocked in 108 baserunners. Longoria (.272/27/85) claimed Rookie of the Year honors and Upton swiped 44 bases.

On Deck

The “Original” 2009 Rockies

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database


James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.

Retrosheet – Transactions Database – Transaction a – Executive 

SB Nation – “Evan Longoria injury – 2012 return in question”

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive

Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games. He has written a number of articles for Fangraphs and Seamheads, and enjoys spending quality time with his family.

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