I think Texas Rangers fans were relieved to see Evan Carter make the roster for the Wild Card Series on Monday. There was a possibility he was not going to be postseason eligible since he was not on the 40-man roster on September 1st.
Carter did not disappoint as he helped propel the Rangers to a 2-0 sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Wild Card Series. It's the first Rangers playoff series victory since the 2011 American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tiger. Let's take a look at how Evan Carter contributed to the series and what he needs to do in the next round.
Evan Carter vs the Tampa Bay Rays: How big of a difference was he?
Carter didn't take long to make himself known to all the baseball fans watching game one. When the game one lineup card was submitted, he was slotted in the ninth position. It was kind of puzzling to me since he was getting on base pretty regularly down the stretch. It didn't take long for him to join postseason history.
He became the youngest player in MLB history to reach base four times in a playoff game. His two hits and two walks helped score at least one run in on Tuesday. He also made this stellar web gem in left field which kept the runner on first from possibly scoring. If you want to read more about his postseason debut, Nolan Writin Co-Site Expert West Jones wrote about how Corey Seager and Carter played a huge part in the victory on Tuesday.
One thing that was really cool after the Ranger's victory on Tuesday was Carter was featured on MLB Network. They talked about his patience at the plate was a big factor it was for the Rangers in this series and how it could help them move forward in the playoffs. You can watch the clip from MLB Network down below.
During Wednesday's game against the Rays, Carter showed off his bat and hit his first career home run which sailed over the right field wall and made it 4-0 Rangers. The Rangers would go on to eventually win 7-1 and advance to the American League Divisional Series against the Baltimore Orioles. Carter was drenched with beer in the locker room during the postseason festivities.
Evan Carter vs the Tampa Bay Rays: What he needs to do in the next round
Carter just has to keep playing the way he did during the wild card series against the Rays. It's like the old saying goes, "If it's not broke don't fix it." The Rangers are going to need his bat against the Baltimore Orioles. The other thing that I would like to see the Rangers do is possibly bump him up to the third spot in the lineup. I would only do this after the first game if Grossman doesn't have any hits.
I can't wait to see how the young phenom does against the Orioles in the ALDS. Carter has already proven that he belongs on the opening-day roster next April. Carter is going to be a special part of the Rangers organization over the next 5-10 seasons.