2. Improved Defense
The Texas Rangers defense took a big hit last week, when Heim went down. To make up for the loss, the team went out and acquired Austin Hedges. The former Pirates catcher is batting .179 this season. He has 29 hits on 161 at bat appearances. However, it is his defense that stands out.
WFAA reports that he has a 28% caught stealing rate. Along with that, he does a great job catching near or all around the strike zone. This comes in handy, as Texas improved their strikeout ratio with the additions of Chapman, Scherzer, and Montgomery.
In a little over a month with Texas, Chapman has 17 strikeouts. His signature pitch is a four-seam fastball, which a majority of the time falls on top of or the middle of the strike zone. However, it is his sinker that tends to go just outside the plate. Throw in a catcher like Hedges, and this can come in handy.
Scherzer too could benefit from someone like Hedges. The former Met also throws a four-seam fastball. It is his slider that tends to get away from him. If you look at the video on top, you can see Hedges has excellent command of the ball. He can maneuver pitches in all areas of the plate. Thrown in a defensive catcher with an already stacked infield, and Texas should definitely improve.