“That Guy” Pressure Rattled Souza, Jr.

April 8th, 2016

SouzaRaysTrades can do tricky things to a player’s mind.

Sometimes, new beginnings jump-start careers immediately. But in other instances, they’re a 50-pound concrete slab to the skull.

In December 2014, Steven Souza Jr. was a centerpiece of the three-team, 11-player deal that sent Wil Myers – once a ballyhooed golden child of the Rays’ system – to the Padres. Souza was in choppy waters last year, hitting 225 and striking out a team-worst 144 times.

Recently, he went on the figurative couch with the Tampa Bay Times and revisited his rocky first season with the Rays:

“I definitely don’t disbelieve that I can be that guy,” Souza said, “but I think I focused on it a lot last year and tried to be that guy.

“Whereas I know that I’ve been blessed with some skill and some ability. So (I’m) just going out and playing the game day in and day out, trying to focus on the day-to-day grind. And at the end of the year, look up and hopefully be where I want to be.”

Souza’s ability to spank Toronto pitching this week – he went 6-for-15 with three home runs and five RBIs in the opening series – is a sign he feels more comfortable.

In a year when the Rays’ front office values run production over run prevention, Souza will fit in well with the bosses’ vision — if his bat stays hot. hopes Souza’s mind is settled. The Rays need him at his best.

4 Responses to ““That Guy” Pressure Rattled Souza, Jr.”

  1. Miguel Grande Says:

    That guy should play hard like Kiermayer and everything will be all right!

    Where’s Loney????

  2. Sean Says:

    Turns out he took his talents so San Diego with will myers according to tkraz

  3. CaptainNicko Says:

    San Diego…fine town. I’ve heard of German origin.

  4. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I think not only Souza But Longo as well,will benefit from having more protection around them in the lineup and not have to be pressured into thinking they have to be “that guy.”

    The results are already showing up for both of them now that they can relax and just play their game.

    I think people don’t realize how good of a player Souza can become if he continues to develop. He has the talent to become a 5 tool player. And he gave us a glimpse of that when he went 4-4 with 2 HRs and a double. He still needs to work on his defense but you can see he’s not that far away.


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