After an interesting off-season, the Rangers could have put together the best infield in the Majors. They kept most of it the same, but added one key piece that might have put them over the top.
Right now the Texas Rangers have an infield that hit 107 home runs combined in 2016. They have three hitters that crushed over 30 homers last season. It will be difficult to find another offense that has as many powerful infielders.
Adding first baseman Mike Napoli to the team really put the Rangers in great position. The final piece to an already strong squad. Napoli is coming off a career year, hitting .239/.335/.465 with 34 home runs and 101 RBI with the Cleveland Indians.
The 35-year-old rejoined the Rangers on a one-year deal for 2017. He has 238 career home runs and will be a main contributor in the middle of the order. He will likely play first base, and some DH in 2017. A huge addition to the offense, and the fans in Arlington can’t wait to see his tremendous power.
Second baseman Rougned Odor had a breakout season in 2016. Hitting .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs and 88 RBI. The outburst in power was unbelievable, he hit more homers in 2016 than he hit in two previous seasons combined. The Rangers hope Odor can continue this power surge in 2017.
It’s not a surprise that Adrian Beltre had another great year. The 37-year-old just seems to get better with age. He hit .300 with 32 home runs and 104 RBI last season. The Rangers can always rely on Beltre to produce offensively.
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During his 19 year career Beltre has hit 445 home runs, and is likely headed to the Hall of Fame. A leader in Arlington, and one of the best third basemen to ever play the game. Everyone is excited to see what Beltre can do in 2017.
The speedy Elvis Andrus does not have the same power numbers as the other infielders. The 28-year-old shortstop proved last season that he doesn’t need home runs to be successful. He hit .300/.362/.439 with eight home runs and 69 RBI.
The 2016 season was a career year for Andrus. The eight year veteran looks to continue his success in 2017, and beyond. A bounce back season last season has fans hopeful this offensive production will continue.
Three of the four Rangers infielders had career years in 2016. There is no doubt that Arlington has one of the infield combinations in the MLB. The American League West will be a brutal fight, but having these bats in the lineup makes it a whole lot easier.