Texas Rangers: Grading the Team at the Halfway Point
By Kenneth Nash
The group making up the outfielders are those players who have started more games in the outfield than any other position group. The outfielders as a whole have been a big part of the success for the Rangers both defensively and offensively.
Joey Gallo: 53 G, .279/.427/.676/1.103, 3.4 WAR
Joey Gallo is probably the top individual storyline of 2019 for the Texas Rangers. Once a slugging-specialist, Gallo has morphed his offensive abilities into those of a true MVP candidate. He just missed being an All-Star Game starter but has a shot at being a reserve. He’s one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball and is well on his way to a fat contract extension if he keeps performing like this.
Nomar Mazara: 73 G, .270/.320/.460/.780, 0.6 WAR
Mazara was looking to finally take that next step forward as a player entering 2019 but got off to another just average start. It raised some questions about whether he’d ever become the superstar caliber player many hoped he would. He still could stand to hit more for power but he’s caught fire of late posting a 1.012 OPS in his last 7 games. He’s trending in the right direction but there’s still work to be done.
Delino DeShields: 54 G, .253/.361/.331/.692, 1.1 WAR
DeShields got off to a rough start in 2019 and found himself the odd man out the first time outfielder roster adjustments were needed. He found himself sent down to Triple-A Nashville to try and get his bat going as well as increase his on-base percentage. He did just that and is hitting .309 with a .383 on-base percentage in his last 30 games. He’s carving out a more permanent role for himself in center field and will help create some questions when the outfield group has to be trimmed once again.
Willie Calhoun: 15 G, .345/.387/.638/1.025, 0.8 WAR
Calhoun has a small sample size but his 2019 season is why the threshold for qualifying for this list was so low. Calhoun started off the year in Nashville much to his dismay but he took the opportunity to work hard and get better. Since he was promoted to replace an injured Joey Gallo a few weeks ago, Calhoun has torn up the big leagues reaching base in all 15 games in which he’s appeared. He’s showing signs of being the hitting prodigy we wanted when he was acquired for Yu Darvish in 2017 and could force Texas to keep him on the big league roster.
Danny Santana: 56 G, .302/.338/.534/.873, 1.2 WAR
Danny Santana is making his case as one of the best minor-league deals ever offered by the Rangers. Santana was promoted early in the season after Odor went down with an injury and has stuck ever since. Another super-utility man, Santana has played a little over 50% of his games in the outfield with the rest in the infield or as the DH. He’s been phenomenal at the plate leading to calls from fans for him to take over 2nd base full time. No doubt the Rangers will look to bring him back next season if they can find a role for him.