On Thursday night, Marcus Semien hit not one, but TWO home runs in what turned out to be yet another one-run loss for the Texas Rangers.
With the two homers Semien got into the 25-home run club, along with fellow teammates Corey Seager, Nathaniel Lowe, and Adolis Garcia (also a 20-20 player), making the Rangers the only club currently with four guys at 25 or more.
It is well documented, that Semien got off to a horrific start to the season. His struggles at the plate were something that he had not experienced outside of the shortened 2020 season. 2019 and 2021 where career years for Semien with the first coming with Oakland and then later with Toronto.
When the Rangers signed him in the offseason to a seven-year, $175MM contract they obviously wanted to get great production out of the shortstop, turned second baseman, but I don’t know if it was ever expected for him to fully repeat what he did in ’19 and ’21.
Marcus Semien putting up solid numbers, despite extremely slow start to the season
This year is not a repeat of those two seasons where he finished 3rd in MVP voting, but he has bounced back nicely from his slow start. With 7 games remaining, he finds himself tied with Julio Rodreguez for 4th in the bWAR standings for AL position players at 5.7. The only AL position players that come in higher than Semien are Aaron Judge 10.4, Andres Gimenez 6.9, and Yordan Alvarez 6.5.
The chatter that Semien has been a bust and a waste of money is tired, and uninformed. Not only does he have the 26 homeruns now, but he is also sitting at 24 stolen bases. If he can add one more to that total, he will join Garcia in the 25-25 club. The last Ragner to reach that mark before this year, was Ian Kinsler, who did it in 2011.
Semien’s 24 stolen bases are a career high and his OPS+ of 110 is third only to his two previously mentioned career years. He is slashing .255/.311/.444 which for a leadoff hitter is solid. Semien has also lowered his K% from 20.2% last year to 16% this year and his durability is refreshing. Semien has played in 154 of the 155 games that the Rangers have played this season.
I have a feeling that Chris Young would take the production that Marcus Semien has given the club in 2022 for many years to come and would be ecstatic about it. Semien was the first big signing in the offseason, and he has proven his worth this year. He will hopefully be a catalyst for bringing winning baseball back to Arlington sooner, rather than later.