The 2022 Texas Rangers roster as of now: Left Fielders
Certainties: Willie Calhoun
This is heavily asterisked. Houston Astro style.
Willie Calhoun’s character arc, to this point, has really disappointed me. I love the guy to death. He’s one of the easiest players on the team to pull for. He’s been through traumatic injuries, he’s one of the more tenured players on the team, and even still he just hasn’t really stuck the landing yet.
The problem is, he was supposed to be the key piece of the Yu Darvish trade with Los Angeles in 2017. In January of 2022, we’re sitting here talking about A.J. Alexy’s short 2021 stint and giving him the spotlight. He’s been hurt so often that he hasn’t been able to be relied upon. Calhoun hasn’t produced an OBP above .310 since his rookie season, he’s only accumulated 200 or more at-bats in a season twice, and forget about being a certainty at left field. He may not be a certainty for the roster at all.
Calhoun only started 67 games in 2021, a mere 38 of them in left field. Five different Rangers started 18 or more games in left field in 2021, and Calhoun is the safest bet going forward to hold that position down. Eli White is the only player likely to return from that group aside from Calhoun. Until the Rangers can find “the” guy, it’s probably up to Calhoun to get the job done. It sucks. Willie is a great dude and deserves to win, but he has done very little with a very short playing window and it’s all but put up or shut up time from him. Do I think he’s the most likely option to start the season at left field? Yes. But it’s going to take a lot for him to stay there, and his shelf life is ticking.
Dark Horse: Seiya Suzuki
The Japanese superstar still wants to play in Major League Baseball in 2022, despite all the drama surrounding the lockout. Although many clubs will clamor and pine for his talent, a Suzuki signing in Texas gives the Rangers a fresh shot of energy. He’s an electric player with power, swagger, and plenty of tenure playing in Japan. Texas has been called home by a plethora of Japanese players, particularly in recent years, including but not limited to: Yu Darvish, Kohei Arihara, Kyuji Fujikawa, Kojei Uehara, and Akinori Otsuka. Reports have listed Texas as a suitor Suzuki would prefer. A fresh, brand new hitters park for one of the most electric batters in Japan? Getting in on the cusp of a team hungry for competition very soon? These could be very luring propositions for a player itching for a new challenge.