Nolan Writin’ Staff Rangers Season Projections
By Kenneth Nash
Rangers Improve Upon 2015 With New Bolstered Roster
by Preston Brown, Staff Writer
The Texas Rangers will be an improved team this year. Bolstered by a full season of Cole Hamels, along with the return of Yu Darvish, and a full season from the revamped bullpen, they should have no problem matching or slightly improving on the 88-74 record from last year. But with the rise of the Houston Astros, the Rangers will have to do significantly better against the division this season if they are to retain the division crown.
Biggest Surprise Player
Elvis will finally snap out of the statistical nose dive he has been in over the last few seasons to put up the kind of numbers that were expected out of him when the Rangers gave him the sizable contract extension in 2013. The embarrassing two error inning from the fateful game 5 of last years division series will light a fire under Elvis, and he will finish with a career high .290 batting average, and his first 40 steal season since 2013.
Biggest Letdown Player
After having a career season in 2015 complete with career highs in batting average, RBI’s, hits, and doubles, the expectations on Mitch Moreland are high entering 2016. However, Moreland has always had problems with health and left handed pitching and thus regression is likely. Mitch won’t be bad in 2016, so the disappointment will largely be a product of lofty expectations. When all is said and done Moreland’s output in 2016 will more closely resemble 2012-2014 than 2015.
With an outstanding rookie season in 2016, Kela is well positioned to be a key cog in the Ranger’s bullpen for years to come. His outstanding stuff makes him projectable as a future closer, a role he may very well take on in a season or two. This season he will be the most dominant Ranger out of the ‘pen, and will seize the role of primary setup man for closer Shawn Tolleson early on. Leading all Ranger’s relievers in ERA, strikeouts, and batting average against will capture Kela pitcher of the year honors for 2016.
Though he may not lead the Rangers in any of the major statistical categories (BA, HRs, RBIs) in 2016, he will rank in the top 3 for all of them, and be the most indispensable component of a dangerous Rangers lineup. Rougned will also earn his first all-star nod in 2016 as he continues to blossom into a star.
90-72 (2nd in AL West)
AL West Standings
- Houston Astros- 92-70 (Division champion)
- Texas Rangers- 90-72 (Wild Card #1)
- Seattle Mariners- 86-76
- Los Angeles Angels- 80-82
- Oakland Athletics- 76-86
The Texas Rangers will finish 2nd in the AL West falling just short of the Houston Astros in their quest to repeat as division champions. However, they will claim the first American league wild card spot. From there the Texas Rangers will defeat the Boston Red Sox in the wild card round, and the Toronto Blue Jays in the divisional round before falling to the Houston Astros in a hard fought AL championship series.