Grading the Texas Rangers’ off-season acquisitions
C Mitch Garver: B+
Mitch Garver has the potential to be the best Rangers hitting catcher since Mike Napoli.
Now there’s the keyword: potential. If you don’t know much about Mitch Garver, I’ll keep it short and sweet for you. He’s had a myriad of injury problems throughout his career, but his 2019 season was elite at the plate and he can swing for a lot of power. The team has heavily prioritized defensive catching in recent years with guys like Robinson Chirinos, Jeff Mathis, and Jose Trevino. There’s nothing wrong with that in theory, but it’s been a really long time since the Rangers had longevity in terms of hitting out of their catchers.
Garver is going to be splitting a fair amount of time between catcher and DH this year, which is good. If he can stay on the field, his bat should supply the Rangers lineup with plenty of power and run production. Since his breakout year in 2019, Garver has accumulated a slash line of .254/.348/.546, with 46 home runs and 106 runs batted in in 184 games during that time span. His career hard hit rate is 49.6%, and his swings churn out a lot of lifted balls.
I know it’s a dead horse for Garver at this point, but the team just needs him to stay healthy. 100+ games and 375-ish at-bats is the goal for him at this point, and if the team receives that out of him, it will provide massive benefits to the offensive production.