Around the Infield: Double play combinations


One of the most exciting things in Baseball is bases loaded, 1 out and your team is leading by one run.  The other teams star hitter steps to the plate and digs in for a grand slam.  Your team’s best  reliever is on the mound giving everything he has to get the final outs to get out of the jam.  He throws a sinker, ball is in play and the shortstop fields the ball tosses it to the second baseman for the first out, the second baseman leaps into the air to miss the sliding base-runner and throws to the first baseman for the final out of the inning.  Inning over, threat over.

The key to great double plays is to have a great defensive first baseman.  Chris Davis is the Rangers starting first baseman.  As defensive player he has done quite well at first base with a .997 fielding average over the last two seasons.  He has spent sometime at third base, although he is not as comfortable there and his fielding average shows that.  If he can decrease his strikeouts he can project to man first base for a very long time, especially considering he is from right outside of Dallas in the city of Longview.

The Rangers have a great second baseman in Ian Kinsler.  He has a .271 batting average over four season and has hit 83 home runs.  During that time he has a .977 fielding average and last season he committed only 11 errors, which was his lowest since breaking into the majors in 2006.  Kinsler is an average fielder who is improving every year and he is a pretty decent hitter for a second baseman.

One of highlights of the Mark Teixeira trade was that the Rangers received a young shortstop in return in Elvis Andrus.  Although Andrus is an up and comming shortstop there was a little controversy last season when the current shortstop Michael Young was asked to move to third base to make room for Andrus.  Young had already moved to shortstop from second to make room for Alfonso Soriano and cover the whole left at shortstop since Arod was traded.  At first Young stated he was not going to move, but after some consideration he moved to third and made the infield stronger in its new setup.  In his first season at the Majors Andrus hit .267 with 6 home runs, and a .968 fielding average.  Given more seasoning in the Majors Andrus will become a perennial all-star.

On third base the Rangers have the veteran of the infield in Michael Young.  Young has been with the Rangers since he was acquired in a trade in 2000.  Young is under contract till 2013 and could possible finish his career as a Ranger.  He is a .302 career hitter with 137 home runs over ten seasons.

The Rangers have a pretty solid infield which hopefully will improve by giving up less runs in 2010 and scoring more runs to help the Rangers win more games.  Hopefully if the infield improves the Rangers chances of making it deep into the playoffs increase.