Now that Mike Napoli is no longer with the Texas Rangers, the first base position is up for grabs for 2018. We can expect to see some good competition in Spring Training for the position. The Rangers won’t rush to name a starting first baseman for next season.
Mike Napoli spent a majority of 2017 playing first base. Joey Gallo played 52 games at the first base position and did quite well. Without a doubt, Gallo is one of the names who the Rangers are thinking about giving the opportunity to earn the starting job next season at the first base position.
Gallo isn’t the only name who’s capable of earning the starting job, however. Ronald Guzman is another who’s more than capable of winning the job, too. Guzman may one of the biggest names in Spring Training next year. It would n’t be surprising if Gallo shifted from first base, third base, and left field next season as he did in 2017.
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Both Gallo and Guzman are very young and talented players. Guzman played well last season, even wreaking havoc with the bat, collecting 140 hits, hitting 12 home runs, and finishing with a .298 batting average. Guzman’s time to play major league baseball may be right around the corner. Gallo has the experience, though he’s still learning. Gallo’s experience probably gives him the advantage and he may be the favorite to win the job. But let’s not count Guzman out as anything can happen.
Dallas Morning News’ Gerry Fraley, Gallo is suitable to play first base because Gallo has good hands and a good arm, which certainly is an important requirement for such a position. Regardless, manager Jeff Banister will see to it that there’s fair competition. As we know, Banister does not hand out a starting job and instead hands out opportunities to earn it.
Guzman ought to be considered a favorite as one of the minor leaguers who’ll make the Opening Day roster next season. If Gallo is to serve as the designated hitter or as third base, Guzman may get his chance to shine.