Where did Rays rookie Randy Arozarena, 'best player on earth,' come from?

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Pedro GomezMLB


ESPN’s Pedro Gomez covered the Oakland A’s home and away nearly every day from 1992-97 for the San Jose Mercury News and Sacramento Bee and then became the national baseball writer and later a general columnist at the Arizona Republic before becoming an ESPN bureau reporter in 2003.

SAN DIEGO — It was a year ago that Randy Arozarena made news for all the wrong reasons. It was Arozarena who live-streamed Cardinals manager Mike Shildt’s profanity-laced postgame talk after St. Louis eliminated the Braves in the National League Division Series. It went viral, and Arozarena was ashamed.

Fast-forward to the present, and Arozarena is making MLB news this October with his bat instead of his phone. After a torrid stretch in which Arozarena was 12-for-20 in the Tampa Bay Rays‘ first five postseason games — including home runs in each of the first three games against the Yankees in the ALDS — teammate Tyler Glasnow proclaimed him “the best player on earth” last week.

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It’s difficult to argue that point after Arozarena again came through in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, blasting a laser-like solo shot to straightaway center field in the fourth inning to erase a one-run deficit. The Rays went on to win the opening game 2-1.

“I think everyone is just in awe when he steps into the box,” catcher Mike Zunino said. “The power surge really ignites our

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