Publish date:

12 Rangers

Author:

TANKERS

SCOUT'S TAKE

KEY QUESTION

They lost Adrián Beltré, who was the glue. Who's their leader? Elvis Andrus is the biggest name but he needs a change of scenery. Nomar Mazara is an impact hitter in the middle of the lineup; his swing looks like Carlos Delgado's. He's ready to be their new star.

BEWARE OF

Ever since he took a swing at José Bautista, Rougned Odor has looked like he wants to embrace the villain role: unbuttoned jersey, long beard, helmet covering his eyes, always stepping out of the box. It's not helping his game. He's hardheaded and doesn't take instruction well. And it's rubbed off on his approach: He swings way too freely.

ON THE CUSP

Willie Calhoun is going to break out. The problem is where to put him. He's bad at second base. They're trying to hide him in left; all they want him to do is catch the ball and hit the cutoff man. But that little man has some big-time pop.

LAST LICKS

I want José Leclerc on the mound. He'll deceive you to death and is a straight battler.... Chris Woodward is the perfect guy for a rebuild.... How can you have hope for this team? The staff is full of old guys who have all had Tommy John.

THE PAYOFF PITCH

THE RANGERS have finally decided to start over, and since they're also moving into a new ballpark in two years, 2019 is a throwaway season in many ways. While the wins will be scarce, the team has some watchable players, with a speedster in Delino DeShields Jr., a strikeout phenom in José Leclerc and the most extreme three-true-outcome hitter in baseball history in Joey Gallo. At 25, Gallo has had the greatest propensity ever for homers, walks and strikeouts, keeping the ball out of play 58.3% of the time over his four-year career. He has been an above-average hitter based on the last two seasons even while striking out 403 times—or in 36.3% of his plate appearances, second highest in MLB. When he makes contact, though, look out. Gallo led the majors last year in exit velocity on balls hit in the air and in rate of hard contact. There's no one who epitomizes the trade-offs modern hitters make more than Gallo.

OVER UNDER

71.5

Nomar Mazara and Willie Calhoun are part of a promising young core, but the Rangers—headed for a second straight last-place finish—are back to their all-hit, no-pitch ways.

LINEUP

DH Shin-Soo Choo

.264/21 HR/.377 OBP

2B Rougned Odor

.253/18 HR/12 SB

SS Elvis Andrus

.256/6 HR/.367 SLG

RF Nomar Mazara

.258/20 HR/77 RBI

LF Joey Gallo

.206/40 HR/92 RBI

3B Asdrúbal Cabrera

.262/23 HR/.458 SLG

1B Ronald Guzmán

.235/16 HR/.416 SLG

C Jeff Mathis

.200/1 HR/.272 SLG

CF Delino DeShields Jr.

.216/2 HR/20 SB

BENCH

IF Isiah Kiner-Falefa

.265/4 HR/7 SB

OF Willie Calhoun

.222/2 HR/.333 SLG

FANTASY BREAKOUT

JOSÉ LECLERC became the closer last August and converted all 12 of his opportunities while racking up a 38.1% strikeout rate.

ROTATION

LH Mike Minor

12 W/4.18 ERA/7.6 K9

RH Lance Lynn

10 W/4.77 ERA/1.52 WHP

LH Drew Smyly

7 W/4.88 ERA/8.6 K9*

RH Edinson Vólquez

4 W/4.19 ERA/1.42 WHP**

BULLPEN

CL José Leclerc

12 SV/1.56 ERA/13.3 K9

RH Jesse Chavez

2.55 ERA/1.06 WHP/8.7 K9

RH Chris Martin

4.54 ERA/1.22 WHP/8.0 K9

MANAGER

Chris Woodward

*Stats from 2016

**Stats from 2017