Pierzynski Takes His Talents To Texas
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Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
Brooke Robinson (Baseball Writer and Rangers Correspondent): Follow @bka_9
The offensive losses suffered in Arlington were becoming very real for the days leading up to December 20. Former starting Catcher Mike Napoli, U/DH Michael Young had left for the East coast, and CF Josh Hamilton left for the West. It seemed as though GM Jon Daniels was in no hurry to make any moves, and the fans in Texas were eager to get the bitter taste of the previous season out of their mouths. So to their surprise and pleasure, the front office signed one of the best Catchers on the free agent market: Anthony John Pierzynski. Some teams considered him a liability because of his age, but the 35 year old’s numbers in 2012 are actually quite astounding. The Texas front office obviously did their homework.
Most Ranger fans considered Napoli to be an offensive force. If this is the case, Pierzynski is a megaforce. The backstop hit 27 HRs with a .278 batting average in 2012 compared to Napoli’s 24 HRs and .227 Batting Average. The south side of Chicago counted on the offense of Pierzynski, which is exactly what the clubhouse in Texas needs. Another factor that makes the Catcher a good fit for the organization is his reliability. Pierzynski has played in at least 128 games in each of his eight years in Chicago, while the former starter only played in 108 in his last season as a Ranger. The slugger has an incredible dedication to maintaining his health, something Texas fans have been concerned about with previous players.
Looking forward to the 2013 season, the left-handed batter will most likely move lower in the batting order than he is used to of the offensive-heavy Rangers lineup, somewhere around where current LF David Murphy is. He will become, for now, the starting backstop and possible designated hitter for Texas with Geovany Soto and newly claimed Eli Whiteside as backups. Soto spent some of the 2012 season in Arlington and will be more comfortable behind the plate with the current rotation, but the offense of Pierzynski will make him the starter. There is hardly a comparison between the two, the knowledge and power of the new Catcher would run circles around his backup. However, the current Texas roster is known for their tight-knit, comedic attitudes and it is unknown how the Catcher will react to this. Pierzynski has a history of being heavily disliked outside of Chicago, and partially in Texas for his commentary during the 2011 World Series about the organization. But former teammates had nothing but good things to say about the Catcher and how he can be the stable ground of a ball club. Ranger fans are attracted to players with character, and the Catcher will add plenty of entertainment value.
Daniels has clearly been working to replace the errors of the previous three seasons with success. With the addition of Pierzynski, Daniels brings in a catcher with great postseason experience. The slugger has played in seven postseason series (including the 2005 World Series), and of that he has 5 HRs, 19 RBI, and has posted a .520 Slugging Average. He is a player with enormous devotion to baseball, a type of heart-and-soul and win-at-all-costs attitude that fans complained Hamilton didn’t possess in 2012. This will be well-respected with his new organization and especially with the fans. Bottom line: the Texas Rangers got a steal in landing Pierzynski at 7.5 Million for one year.
(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)
A big thank-you goes out to Brooke Robinson for preparing today’s featured article. Brooke is a junior Sport Management major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. Spending time at the Texas Rangers spring training facility in Arizona and seeing all of the prospects are what she loves most about baseball. Feel free to follow Brooke on twitter and talk the game of baseballFollow @bka_9
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Posted on December 23, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @bka_9 twitter, a.j. pierzynski, arlington, chicago white sox, david murphy, Eli whiteside, geovany soto, jon daniels, josh hamilton, michael young, mike napoli, texas, texas rangers. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.