Adding pitching is the biggest concern for the Texas Rangers this off-season. After that the team needs a reliable bench they can trust. Does Ryan Rua have a chance at helping the Rangers in 2018?
It’s fair to say that the Texas Rangers have not yet tapped into the full potential of Ryan Rua. The 27-year-old has played in parts of four seasons with Texas. Is 2018 the year that Rua final breaks through and becomes a reliable option?
Through those four seasons with Texas, Rua is hitting .246 with 17 home runs and 55 RBI in 218 games. Much like infielder Jurickson Profar, Rua has the potential to be a successful piece, but hasn’t shown it on the field yet.
During the 2017 season Rua played in just 63 games with the Rangers. He hit three home runs with 12 RBI and hit a lousy .217 during that stretch. Despite his struggles in the MLB, Rua has put together multiple successful seasons in the minor leagues.
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The Rangers don’t need Rua to be an everyday player, and likely don’t have that role even available right now. Left field is basically the only position still open and Rua does have experience out there.
It won’t be that easy though as youngster Willie Calhoun is likely the future in left field. The best scenario for Rua at this point is a bench spot in Arlington. Texas needs that right-handed power bat off the bench.
Somebody that can step off the bench and make an impact with one swing. A platoon bat to swap in for Shin-Soo Choo or Joey Gallo late in a game. Rua hits .270 off lefty pitchers and could be a difference maker off the bench.
It’s good to have a player like Rua when the opponent brings in a tough lefty late in the game. It’s unlikely Rua becomes a starter in Arlington, but his power bat can be helpful off the bench.