What do you do when you lose a top prospect like Josh Jung for the season? You can’t fully replace him, but you can make a solid effort to minimize the loss. In signing Brad Miller, the Texas Rangers have done just that.
Miller, a veteran journeyman, agreed to a one-year MLB contract with the Texas Rangers in the waning hours of Tuesday night. He hit 20 home runs (107 OPS+) with the Phillies in a part-time role in 2021, a good season considering his role.
The 32-year-old mashes right-handed pitching, with a career .780 OPS against them for his career. That meshes perfectly with Andy Ibanez, also a bat-first player, but who rakes against lefties. Ibanez had an .892 OPS against southpaws in 2021. You can see where this might be going.
A Brad Miller/Andy Ibanez platoon at third base could be effective for the Texas Rangers in 2022
From the left side, you have Brad Miller and his pop. From the right side, you have Ibanez and his contact skills. Combined, you have an above average third baseman from an offense perspective. The Texas Rangers are sacrificing a bit of defense at the position, however, now that Isiah Kiner-Falefa is now with the New York Yankees. But with the upgrade the team made at catcher acquiring Mitch Garver, they’ve at least maintained some of that defense.
A Miller-Ibanez platoon isn’t flashy by any means, but in light of Josh Jung’s potential season-ending shoulder injury, it’s more than an effective stopgap solution for the time being. And frankly, that’s all the Texas Rangers really need at this point in time.
You might even call this situation something of a silver lining, as the team will now get a chance to evaluate more of its homegrown talent like Andy Ibanez, while also replacing the likes of Charlie Culberson and Brock Holt with Brad Miller, who hits better than the former two and also possesses their defensive versatility.
Don’t sleep on a Brad Miller-Andy Ibanez timeshare at third base for the Texas Rangers this season. It could potentially pay off.