Hunter Pence, Logan Forsythe, and Danny Santana have all found a home. Each has performed very well, carving out important roles with the Texas Rangers.
Some guys just need a team willing to give them a shot. Often enough the undervalued player, or the guy who was called over the hill, has a ton left to prove. Hunter Pence, Logan Forsythe and Danny Santana have certainly proved worthy of a handout from the Texas Rangers.
Jon Daniels has had a vast history of picking out talented position players from the scrap-heap. Consider a guy like Delino DeShields, who was a rule 5 pick in 2014 and wound up playing a vital role for the Rangers. So far in 2019, it’s looking as if Jon Daniels has struck gold once again with Pence, Forsythe and Santana.
Hunter Pence has been outstanding
After a lackluster season with the Giants in 2018, many thought the 36-year-old former All-Star was washed up. Pence’s wild swings and injury history seemed to have caught up with him. So much so that he had to work with coach Doug Latta over the offseason (the same guy who fixed Justin Turner), who apparently helped him work out a few kinks.
Pence seems to have rejuvenated one of the more interesting swings in the game. While his stance and swing are still very similar and still quite odd, there are subtle noticeable differences if you look in detail.
His stance is more closed, his bat is more parallel, he is coiling his body less and finishing with his shoulders nearly level. In 2018 it often looked as if he was lunging, but that has toned down this season. He brought his new swing to play in the Dominican Winter League as well, which is rather unique for a man who has made over $100 million in his career. Participating at a much lower level shows true dedication to the game.
The dedication is clearly paying off right before our eyes. He has played his way into an everyday role and is batting .298 with 7 home runs, 25 RBI (which is more than he had in 97 games in 2018) and an OBP of .368. He has been perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the entire MLB. Good thing he’s on the Texas Rangers.
As for Logan Forsythe…
He has become a journeyman of sorts, much to his dismay I’m sure. While a productive player in the past, Forsythe just never could string multiple really good seasons together. Although, this year is looking massively different.
Forsythe has appeared in 29 games, and my goodness has he been performing well. He has an average of .316 and a remarkable .414 OBP. He has performed great, especially for a guy who signed on a minor league deal in the offseason. Many thought he could’ve possibly become a bench player, but nothing of this magnitude.
The once highly touted prospect, who burst onto the scene in 2014 with a .319 AVG, and then never really lived up to his potential from there on out, was picked up by the Texas Rangers this past January. Now that he’s gotten the chance to play for the Rangers he’s performed well above expectations. He came out white-hot, and even though he has cooled down a bit, Santana is still hitting .298 AVG with an OBP of .341 on the season. He has joined Pence and Forsythe as tremendous signings.
You can point fingers at Jon Daniels all you want about the pitching staff, or any other thing that might upset you about this Texas Rangers team. Be happy though that this GM pulled in multiple role players out of nowhere for a team that has been a much more competitive team than anyone thought back in the spring. Pence, Forsythe and Santana have remade themselves into very important pieces here in Texas, and that’s something to be thankful for.
In my opinion, finding talent that nobody else sees is the true mark of a good GM. While each may have his flaws, you can’t help but applaud Daniels for finding such success in places few others were looking.