A rival scout sizes up the RANGERS
I love the PRINCE FIELDER trade. The guy plays every day, plays hard, hits 30 homers and drives in 100. He may hit 50 bombs in Arlington.... They traded Ian Kinsler not just for Fielder but to get JURICKSON PROFAR in there at second base. He wasn't great last year, but I'm not worried about him. He has a tremendous skill set. You could see this kid hitting .280 with 15 to 20 homers, which is pretty good for a 21-year-old.... I see ELVIS ANDRUS as a guy who was given a little too much too soon. He got the eight-year, $120 million extension last April and he underachieved.... I truly believe ADRIAN BELTRE will be a Hall of Famer. Best third baseman in the game—not even close. He has some of the best pure fielding hands and feet of his generation, throws from every angle. Just don't touch his head.... YU DARVISH could become the first guy to strike out 300 since 2002. He came over here from Japan with seven pitches, but he didn't get comfortable right away with his whole repertoire. Now he is, and he looks like a magician.... It makes sense that JOAKIM SORIA ended up being the closer over NEFTALI FELIZ. He filled up the strike zone all spring.... There are question marks with the rotation. Last year with the Angels, TOMMY HANSON didn't have anything. His being in the mix for the rotation here says it all. They should try to deal [second base prospect] ROUGNED ODOR for someone to slot in behind Darvish. With MATT HARRISON and DEREK HOLLAND hurt, another arm could be the difference between contending and missing the playoffs.
2014 Projected Statistics and Run Totals by ROTOWIRE.COM
PROJECTED RUNS SCORED
AL AVERAGE 694
PROJECTED RUNS ALLOWED
AL AVERAGE 707
Texas bolstered its offense by adding SHIN-SOO CHOO and PRINCE FIELDER, slotting them at leadoff and in the 3 hole, respectively. Left in place is the number 2 hitter, ELVIS ANDRUS. If the Rangers really want to make their offense go, they'll swap out Andrus for second baseman JURICKSON PROFAR. Andrus fits the traditional model of a number 2 hitter, a speedy middle infielder who can lay down a bunt; he has led the AL in sacrifices two years running. But as a righthanded hitter who hits ground balls more than half the time he makes contact, Andrus is a significant double play risk (18 GIDP last year)—a risk that will rise with Choo and his high OBP batting leadoff. Profar has more pop and, as a switch-hitter, will bat often from the left side, giving him an edge in staying out of double plays. (He grounded into only one last year.) Better still, by hitting behind Choo, the 21-year-old Profar will frequently find himself facing pitchers working out of the stretch.
BRAD MANGIN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (FIELDER)
RONALD MARTINEZ/GETTY IMAGES (DARVISH)