Predicting the Texas Rangers lineup

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The Texas Rangers will soon start spring training and will finally be able to put the last season behind them. Out of 162 games, the Rangers used 130 different batting orders last season. That’s a lot considering when they went to the World Series in 2010 and 2011 they used about 100 different batting orders.

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The main reason for the sharp increase was the injury bug that plagued the team last season. They constantly had to pluck from the minors and the bench to fill out lineups throughout the season.

With a new season just around the corner, the Rangers are returning healthy and ready to go with just a few exceptions such as Jurickson Profar. The good news is Profar has received a clean bill of health and should be ready for the major league roster by mid-season.

Besides Profar, the Rangers will also have Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland, and Shin-Soo Choo back in the lineup. For the Rangers to turn things around in 2015 they’ll need production from those three players. Last season the lineup was filled with 9 hole hitters and lacked power. The Rangers ranked 27th in home runs with 111, way behind 4th place Houston Astros at 163. Adrian Beltre lead the way at 19, which was way down from the 30 home runs he hit in 2013.

Video: 11/26/14 2014 Long Home Runs: TEX
Many of the Rangers’ long home runs in 2014 were hit by rookies and new players, including Prince Fielder

Everyone expected Prince Fielder to slam a ton of home runs over the right field home run porch, but he ended his short season with just 8 home runs. The Rangers also saw a power outage and inconsistency from their designated hitter Mitch Moreland. Moreland only hit 2 home runs, which wasn’t anywhere near the 23 he hit in 2013. Both Moreland and Fielder missed a majority of the season, which of course hurt their totals. The Rangers expected to have the sharp eye of Shin-Soo Choo as their leadoff man. Instead after injuring his foot he struggled at the plate and in left field. Instead of leading the league in on-base percentage he looked lost and flustered at the plate at time.

Now that all 3 are back to 100% the Rangers hope to see an increase in team batting average and their power numbers. They need for Fielder and Moreland to drive the ball harder and hopefully for more home runs to drive in more runs. That will not only help win games, but protect the Rangers pitchers. Last season several of the Rangers pitchers did well but do to the lack of offense they often lost games and had inflated ERA and win/loss records.

My starting lineup:

I think Choo will have a better year since he’s back to 100% and is no longer in pain. I like having Leonys Martin at the number 9 guy because if he’s doing well it is like having him at the lead off guy. That should have a really good effect if him and Choo are hitting well.

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Texas Rangers /

Texas Rangers

I hope that Elvis is able to hit well enough to advance Choo and/or Martin this season. That will set up the power hitters Fielder, Beltre and Moreland to drive in some runs. Odor is entering his sophomore season and will hopefully continue to improve at the plate. Chirinos did very well at the plate last season. He’s near the bottom, but it’s no indictment on his ability. He’s a very good catcher and a good hitter. He should continue to do well this season. Lastly, Jake from State Farm in the number 8 hole. There’s no telling if he’ll actually make the Opening day roster, but I’d love to see him on it. During his short time with the Rangers last season his showed a lot of ability and skill. He might do well enough to exceed exceptions and beat out Michael Choice and Ryan Rua for a spot on the roster.

Hopefully, you’re excited and ready for the Spring training to start. I have high expectations for the Rangers this season. Mainly because they do have a great team with a lot of very talented players. Jon Daniels and company have worked hard over the years to build a very competitive team and I believe if they can remain healthy by October we’ll see them in the playoffs.

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