The regular season is 6 days away. I am definitely excited for the season to start! This is my list of who I think the 5 most important Texas Rangers are this season. Most of the players mentioned on this list are pretty obvious. There are a couple of players, namely Yu Darvish and Jurickson Profar that are not on the list since they are on a different list.
5. Elvis Andrus: Andrus did not have a good year last year. He had a batting average of .263 and an on-base percentage of .314 which were both career lows. He also grounded into 21 double plays. He committed 18 errors as well. The Rangers need Andrus to live up to his massive contract. I may have bought high on Andrus, but I still do not think he has reached his potential.
4. Leonys Martin: Martin is another one that has to have a good a year. He is the leadoff hitter, the table setter if you will. He needs to find a way to get on base. Run smart on the bases. I’m expecting great things from Martin this year. Great Defense, more outfield assists, stolen bases, runs. You name it…I expect more of it from him this year.
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3. Yovani Gallardo: Acquired from the Brewers in the offseason, Gallardo becomes so much more important after the Darvish injury. He now becomes the Rangers number 2 starter, although he is starting on Opening Day.
Gallardo is pitching in a contract year so he has a lot to prove this year whether he stays with the Rangers or not.
2. Derek Holland: Holland is now the ace of the Rangers staff. It appears he will likely start the home opener.
Holland came back late last year and pitched to a tune of a 1.37 ERA in 37 innings. That’s great production coming back from his knee injury. It would be ridiculous for me to expect that kind of ERA out of Holland, but I expect a good year from him with an ERA in the 3’s and double digit wins.
1. Prince Fielder: It is time for Prince Fielder to silence the critics and I believe he will. Some people say he is in decline and worry about his neck. He is healthy this year and has had a decent spring. Obviously Prince is important to the Texas Rangers offense. The Rangers desperately need his surgically repaired neck to hold up and for Prince to be able to go back to playing nearly every game. I believe that Prince is good for at least 25 home runs this year.
If all of these players have a good year then the Texas Rangers will be in good shape. I know there are arguments to be made for other players. Why is Adrian Beltre not on the list? I just believe that he will have a good year no matter what. He also doesn’t have anything to prove. The others on this list do. Who do you think are the most important Rangers?