During the offseason Mitch Moreland lost his position at first base position to Prince Fielder. It was rumored that the Rangers might trade him, but they opted to make him the designated hitter. He really doesn’t seem like your typical DH. Normally you think of an older player that is known for power or at least a batting average above .250.
With that said, how does Moreland compare to the other designated hitters in the American League.
Below is a table to compare Mitch Moreland to other designated hitters (only showing the team’s number one DH)
Looking at the numbers, it is not hard to see why people are criticizing Ron Washington and the Texas Rangers for placing Mitch Moreland in the designated hitter spot.
He does have a decent batting average, but he’s near the bottom in on-base percentage, RBI and home run category. By every definition he doesn’t seem like designated hitter.
The Rangers haven’t used him much lately, he has only 1 start in the last 7 games, (2 games against the NL recently). Moreland is batting .375 over his last 11 games to help raise his batting average from .240 to .284. He hasn’t had very much power production. He hasn’t had a home run since April 9 (19 games) when the Rangers were at Fenway to play against the Red Sox.
One positive note, Mitch Moreland did pitch a 1-2-3 against the Colorado Rockies. His fastball was clocked as high as 95 MPH. He was definitively the talk of the web the next day, which included a clip of him pitching on Yahoo.com homepage.
If Moreland is able to continue batting well he’ll be a good DH for the Texas Rangers, but if he continues to bat like he did in early to late April, then the Rangers might want to re-think things, they have enough 9-hole hitters right now.