Texas Rangers: Grading the Team at the Halfway Point

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - MAY 20: Hunter Pence #24 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers and Nomar Mazara #30 of the Texas Rangers after hitting a two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the bottom of the seventh inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 20, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - MAY 20: Hunter Pence #24 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers and Nomar Mazara #30 of the Texas Rangers after hitting a two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the bottom of the seventh inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 20, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – JUNE 26: Manager Chris Woodward #8 of the Texas Rangers congratulates starting pitcher Mike Minor #23 of the Texas Rangers after pitching a complete, game 4-1 win, over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 26, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – JUNE 26: Manager Chris Woodward #8 of the Texas Rangers congratulates starting pitcher Mike Minor #23 of the Texas Rangers after pitching a complete, game 4-1 win, over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 26, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Starting Pitchers

These are the guys who have been featured as a part of the starting rotation for a chunk of this season. Drew Smyly isn’t included because he’s no longer with the organization however you can probably guess his grade if you wanted to.

Mike Minor: 17 GS, 2.40 ERA, 110 SO, 1.12 WHIP, 5.5 WAR

Mike Minor has been the ace nobody thought he would be this season. The 31-year old vet hasn’t just been an ace this season, he’s been a Cy Young candidate. Minor leads the MLB in pitching WAR this season and has been about as unhittable as you can be as a starter. Under contract for this season and next, the question now is, do you hand him an extension. Minor has been the top pitcher by a mile for the Rangers in 2019.

Grade: A+

Lance Lynn: 16 GS, 4.32 ERA, 108 SO, 1.27 WHIP, 2.7 WAR

If Mike Minor has been the consummate ace, Lance Lynn has been a dang good workhorse number 2 starter. Lynn has thrown 100 innings this season and maintains over a strikeout per inning rate. His fastball is above the league average in velocity and spin rate leading to a lot of his success. His 3-year deal looks like a solid one halfway through 2019 as he’s become a big factor in the Rangers success.

Grade: A-

Adrian Sampson: 10 GS, 4.14 ERA, 66 SO, 1.38 WHIP, 2.3 WAR

Sampson took a huge step forward for the Rangers this season and has become a consistent part of their rotation. He’s started 10 games this year but made 17 total appearances as he’s worked behind an opener on a few instances. He doesn’t possess any overpowering stuff but his approach to hitters has been good and he’s helped the Rangers win ball games.

Grade: B

Ariel Jurado: 8 GS, 3.90 ERA, 41 SO, 1.34 WHIP, 0.8 WAR

Jurado is the exception to the starter qualification rule because he also has worked behind an opener some this season and also is an entrenched part of the rotation. The 23-year old, like Sampson, has taken a big step forward in 2019 and has put Texas in the position to win games. He’s not going to rack up the strikeouts but he’s been a good number 4 starter and is giving us high hopes for the future.

Grade: B

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