PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. Of the 934 players to appear in a major league game last year, the surname that was dead last in the alphabet could be found in Tampa Bay. But fortunately for the Rays, Ben Zobrist ranks high on a different list: as one of the best players in baseball.
In fact, ESPNs Top 100 ratings for 2011 placed the 30-year-old switch-hitter at No. 62.
And when it comes to double trouble, there are few ballplayers more dangerous.
Zobrist hit 46 doubles last season to tie for third in the American League, and led all major leaguers with extra-base hits and doubles combined. Only one switch-hitter in AL history has had more doubles in a season: Brian Roberts. And just three other players Victor Martinez, Mark Teixeira and Pablo Sandoval have hit more than his 102 doubles over the past three seasons.
Good things just seem to come in twos for Zobrist.
He and wife Julianna, an alternative Christian recording artist, welcomed their second child into the world in September, ...