Texas Rangers Position Evaluation: Right Field

Sep 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (17) hits an RBI single during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (17) hits an RBI single during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Rounding out the Rangers outfield, right field looks to be a key position all around in 2016.

For the Texas Rangers, right field seems to be a position of discontent ever since the departure of Nelson Cruz. His replacement, Shin-Soo Choo, never seemed to live up to the expectations laid out before him. In 2016, Texas will rely on Choo to maintain and improve upon his 2015 numbers as they look to clinch another AL West title.

Current Options:

Headed into 2016, Shin-Soo Choo will be “the guy” for the Texas Rangers in right field. In 2015 Choo hit .276/.375/.463 with 22 homers and 82 RBI. He struggled to hit leadoff for the Rangers but once he was moved from that spot, his offensive production increased. Defensively, he’s a quality player with a decent glove and a cannon for the arm. He will be the starter for Texas come opening day which is something the Texas Rangers will be okay with.

Despite the clear cut starter, there is some questions regarding who will be number 2 on the depth chart come 2016. Currently, Joey Gallo is listed as second, according to the Texas Rangers website. If this is the case, it makes sense. Joey Gallo is a young slugger who’s natural position is 3rd but who has the athleticism to play the outfield. The Rangers are looking to get Gallo up with the big league club and transitioning him to an outfielder would offer him the most playing time come 2016.

Justin Ruggiano is probably the next best option for Texas in 2016. His recent offseason signing was meant to add depth and experience to the Texas Ranger outfield and so if an injury or something unexpected occurs, he’d probably find himself as the next man up.

In the System:

Nomar Mazara is the top outfielding prospect Texas has at its disposal right now. He is actually currently listed third on the Ranger depth chart for right field, ahead of Ruggiano. However, many expect Mazara to be back in the minors come 2016 mostly as a way to make sure he continues to get consistent playing time and development.

Free Agents:

The Texas Rangers have been linked to a couple of free agent outfielders this offseason however there has been little development. Both Dexter Fowler and Austin Jackson have been linked to Texas and signing one of them would shake things up a bit in the outfield but overall, this would have a minor effect on right field.

Position Grade:  B-

Come Opening Day, Shin-Soo Choo will be the starter for Texas barring a Spring Training injury. Gallo as the backup makes a lot of sense as it keeps him with the big league club and offers him a decent amount of playing time during off days.

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