Rangers’ How Good Can This Team Be

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Monday, July.08, 2013

Yu Darvish is one of the right-handed pitchers in baseball. He is a strikeout machine, and he leads the American League in strikeouts with 157.

Yu Darvish is one of the best right-handed pitchers in baseball and is the ace of  the Texas Rangers rotation. He is a strikeout machine, and he leads the American League in strikeouts with 157. He has a 3.02 ERA with 119.1 innings pitched with a WHIP of 1.04, and SO/9 of 11.8. Darvish has a SO/BB ratio of 3.83, and is second in the AL with a Hits per 9 IP of 6.33. He is sixth in the AL with a WAR of 3.2. The opposition is only hitting .194 against him this season, with right-handers just barely making contact with their .146 batting average. When there are runners in scoring position with two outs, he pretty much untouchable with teams hitting .146

 By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The Texas Rangers are having a good season considering that they did not sign the two biggest free-agents this past off season in outfielder Josh Hamilton and starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

The Rangers sit just ½ a game behind Oakland Athletics in the American League West division with the All-Star break less than two weeks away. They are 9th in runs scored with 379 runs, and 6th with a batting average of .260. They have a runs differential of +26 this season.

Texas Rangers ALCS Highlights- So Parental Guidance Is Advised

Nelson Cruz is one of the power threats that the Rangers have in their line up.

Nelson Cruz is one of the power threats that the Rangers have in their line up. Cruz has a .274/.331/.865 triple-slash with 22 HRs and 66 RBIs in 317 at-bats this season. He is sixth in AB per HR with 14.4, and is also sixth in XBH with 38.  He is hitting .305 and has an OPS of  .954 when runners are in scoring position

The leader on offense for Texas is their right fielder Nelson Cruz. Cruz is one of the power threats in the line up from them with his .274/.331/.865 triple-slash to go along with 22 HRs and 66 RBIs.

He does strike out plenty with 86 in 317 at-bats, but that comes with the territory of being a power hitter. He is also very good with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .305 average and .954 OPS with 7 HRs and 45 RBIs in this situation.

He is even better with two outs and runners in scoring position, with a .429/.500/1.414 triple-slash and only six strike outs in 35 at-bats.

The other slugger in their line up third baseman Adrian Beltre is proving to be a force from them once again. He has a .309/.351/.870 triple-slash with 17 HRs and 46 RBIs on the season for the Rangers.

He is a right-handed hitter, but he can handle any type of pitcher regardless if they are left-handed or right-handed. He is hitting .307 against righties and .317 against lefties this season.

The odd thing about Beltre is that he struggles with runners in scoring position, as he is only hitting with .222 batting average and .671 OPS. He still remains the most consistent hitter on this team, and opposing teams should be careful not to make a mistake against him.

Another player that is having a great season for the Rangers is a outfielder, but it’s not the player you are thinking of. Texas has a young outfielder in Leonys Martin that is having a great season for them.

The Cuban speedster has already swiped 18 bases and has only been thrown out twice. He is also proving to be a great hitter as well with his .295 average in 207 at-bats.

For some reason he struggles against lefties with only a .229 batting average, but thrives facing right-handers with a .314 average. He does have a low average with runners in scoring position with it being just at .244.

That is not an issue for him, because he hits ninth in the batting order and his responsibility is to get on base.

The offense for this team is still productive, but the pitching is the strength for this team with several young pitchers stepping up for the team. They have the second-best team ERA in AL at 3.71, with the starting rotation accumulating a 3.93 ERA that is 4th in the AL.

The pitching staff is led by Yu Darvish and Derek Holland at the front of the rotation, with two rookies making up the back end portion of the rotation.

Darvish is the ace for the Rangers with a 1.04 WHIP and he also leads the AL in strikeouts with 157 in 119.1 inning pitched to go along with a 3.02 ERA.

He is holding opposing batters to a .194 batting average against him this season and righties can barely touch him with their .146 average.

When runners are in scoring position teams can only muster an average of .158, and with two outs the opposition has no chance with him holding them to a .146 average in 41 at-bats.

Holland is having a good year with a 3.13 ERA in 112 innings pitched, and is on pace to throw more than 200 innings and strikeout 200 batters for the first time in his career.

He is limiting the opposition to just a .257 average on the season, but lefties are having too much success against him with a .297 batting average. He will need to improve this as the season progresses.

The one area where he shines is when there are runners in scoring position with two outs. Holland holds batters to a .205 average in 44 at-bats this season.

Texas also has some young arms in their rotation, Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch. They started the year off strong, but have struggled recently. The main issue with is their control, as they have issued a combined 50 walks this season.

This is due to them being young, but the Rangers have one of the best pitching coaches in all of baseball Mike Maddux. He will work with them to fix their control issues, and they should have a better second half.

Another pitcher that has been great for them is reliever Tanner Scheppers. He has a 1.88 ERA in 43 innings pitched this season and also has a WHIP of 1.11. He is limiting teams to a .205 batting average, with righties just scraping by with a .169 average.

He is especially tough with runners in scoring position and two outs, as indicated by teams just hitting .143.

Texas has one of the best farm systems in baseball, and because of this they could be very active during the Trade Deadline. The Rangers could choose to upgrade their rotation or acquire a bat to bolster their offense.

They have one prospect in particular that all teams would love to have and that is Jurickson Profar.

One player that they could acquire is Chicago Cubs starter Matt Garza. Garza has a 3.45 ERA in 57.1 innings pitched with 52 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.11. He would immediately strengthen their rotation, and give them three great starters at the top of their rotation.

Chicago would definitely want Profar and probably a pitching prospect from Texas for the deal to happen.

Another pitcher that they could get is David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are fighting for a playoff spot, but if they fall to far behind they could make him available.

Texas would probably have to give at least three or four good prospects to get Price, but it would be worth it to acquire a pitcher like him.

Another player they could go after is Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton would improve their offense dramatically. They would be an offensive force with him, Beltre, and Cruz.

The price to acquire him might be too high for the Rangers, and they could just decide to keep Profar with the team.

Jurickson profar is one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

Jurickson Profar is one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He is a very athletic player that can play solid defense in the infield, while showing the ability to be an above-average hitter. He hit.278 for Triple-A Round Rock in 144 at-bats with an OPS of .807 this season. He has a .252 batting average this season in 111 at-bats with the Rangers to go along with an OPS of .692. He has not well, but those numbers will improve with more experience. The Rangers are trying to have him play the outfield, so he can be a more versatile player for the club. The Rangers can also use him as trade bait with the Trade Deadline only a month away.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to our ”Lead Baseball Columnist and Minority Owner” Chris Lacey. Chris has been a fan of watching baseball since the age of 13. Now he does like all sports – but his favorites after baseball are hockey and basketball. 

Chris is very good with computers and is a college graduate.  

Chris is very active on Twitter and especially during the baseball season chatting with other Diamondbacks fans. Be sure to follow him and talk about the great game of baseball. Chris is addicted to writing baseball. 

Check out his work for http://www.rantsports.com here, for http://www.baseballhotcorner.com here, for venom strikes here and if you can believe it – http://www.fanrag.com here

a  chris lacey 2

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If you want to listen to the audio podcast we did for our Monthly 30 Team Rankings, we have the links below to download or just listen

Triple Play Podcast Ep #15 Monthly Rankings For All 30 Teams






About aelacey

I blog about baseball for various websites including RantSports, venom Strikes, & MLBReports.

Posted on July 8, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Rangers’ How Good Can This Team Be.

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