With all the injuries the Rangers have faced early on this season we haven’t really seen their best lineup. If all are healthy, here’s who we think should be on Banister’s lineup card.
The Texas Rangers are a struggling baseball team that also hasn’t been able to catch a break yet this season. Injuries to core players like Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre as well as Rougned Odor and Delino DeShields have ensured that Texas has yet to put their best lineup on the field for a full series. While DeShields has returned and Beltre is only out for another week, the Rangers have spent the first month of the season with a carousel of infielders and outfielders trying to plug the holes. Once this team does return to full strength, we can finally get a full picture of how good or bad the Rangers really are. This isn’t going to be in a true batting order but rather moving position to position starting with catcher. Here’s the best Texas Rangers full strength lineup.
Catcher, Robinson Chirinos
Despite being off to a bit of a poor start, Robinson Chirinos is pretty solidified as the Rangers starting catcher. Texas is also really without a quality alternative meaning Chirinos is the best option. Although if Robinson doesn’t turn it around at the plate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this role become more of a 50/50 split with Juan Centeno.
1st Base, Joey Gallo
Although Ronald Guzman has been defensively solid while handling first, Joey Gallo returning to first base is this team’s best option. Gallo is also a defensively sound first baseman but also brings the pop in the middle of this order. At 24-years old, Gallo is a mainstay in this lineup for the long term. That being said, don’t be surprised if he makes another position change to accommodate Ronald Guzman in the future.
2nd Base, Rougned Odor
Rougned Odor is one of the number of Rangers players who has gone down with an injury this season. Despite how good Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been in his absence, Rougned Odor is still this team’s starting second baseman. He still has tons of room for improvement in the field and at the plate but he’s only 24 and the Rangers aren’t likely to bench him in place of a low-rated prospect any time soon.
3rd Base, Adrian Beltre
We’re not sure how much longer Adrian Beltre will be a Ranger but for now he’s the no doubt starter. I don’t think anyone really needs an explanation here either. A defensive wizard who also happens to be leading the team in hitting. As soon as he’s healthy, he’ll be back in his natural habitat.
Call to the Pen
Shortstop, Elvis Andrus
As a shortstop who has yet to reach age 30, barring a trade, Elvis Andrus is the Rangers shortstop for at least a few more years. His glove is solid and he also is hitting his peak at the plate. Currently he’s out with the first DL stint of his career but Texas can’t wait to get Elvis back in the lineup.
Left Field, Willie Calhoun
I know, I know. He’s not even on the roster right now. But nobody argues Willie Calhoun is a big part of the future for this Rangers team. Whether he’s in Triple-A to shore up his defense or it really is just a matter of team control, Calhoun is this team’s best option. At the plate he’s full of promise both as a contact and power hitter. Defensively he’s no marvel, but with the current options being Ryan Rua or Drew Robinson, I find it hard to argue that Calhoun isn’t the top option.
Center Field, Delino DeShields
Delino was the first casualty of the Texas Rangers season. As the leadoff man and best defensive outfielder on the roster, losing him was a pretty big blow early on. He is back and he’s the best option for this team right now. Now many think that Leody Taveras is the future for Texas in center but for right now, without a doubt, Delino DeShields is the best option. With your other choices being Carlos Tocci and Drew Robinson, it’s not really even that close.
Right Field, Nomar Mazara
A few years down the road, somebody in this order going to have to move to Designated Hitter and it very likely could be Nomar Mazara. Until then, Mazara is the Rangers top choice in right field. Choo is a good fill-in option but the 23-year old Mazara should continue getting the majority of the starts in right. Additionally, at the plate, he’s shown that he is continuing to progress and has emerged as one of the top bats on this Rangers team.
Designated Hitter, Shin-Soo Choo
No matter how you feel about his contract, Choo is still one of the most productive hitters in this Texas lineup. Now I’m almost inclined to slide Jurickson Profar in here because I think long-term he’ll be better hitter. But Profar has made known his desire to be an infielder and it makes no sense to leave a $20 million contract on the bench.
Tell us who you think should be in this Rangers lineup in a comment below.