The Gradual Decline of The Texas Rangers Pt. 1 of 2

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 22: Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Texas Rangers dives on the pile as he celebrates with his teammates after the Rangers won 6-1 against the New York Yankees in Game Six of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

2011. A year in baseball that will long be considered one of the greatest World Series of all time, with the heroics of David Freese and Lance Berkman, the Cardinals shocked the world, after coming within one strike of losing in Game 6, on two different occasions. On the other side of these heroics, and highs, were the Texas Rangers, who had just lost in two straight World Series, after losing to the rag tag San Francisco Giants in 2010. The point of this post, is not to bash the Texas Rangers, but instead to look at the moves and draft picks, that have led to the decline in the franchise, and turned them from winning an average of 89 games from 2010-2016, to a team with no clear direction heading into 2021. The best way I believe to do this, is to go back, seasons by season, and see what went right, and what went wrong.

2010

After showing promise in 2009, winning 87 games but missing out on the Wild Card spot by eight games by the powerful Boston Red Sox, the Rangers finally put it together in 2010. Finishing with 90 wins and a AL West title.

2010 Lineup with stats:

C: Matt Treanor- .211/.287/.308 .595 OPS 57 OPS+ 5 HR 27 RBI

1B: Justin Smoak- .209/.316/.353 .670 OPS 77 OPS+ 8 HR 34 RBI

2B: Ian Kinsler- .286/.382/.412 .794 OPS 110 OPS+ 9 HR 45 RBI

3B: Michael Young- .284/.330/.444 .774 OPS 102 OPS+ 21 HR 91 RBI

SS: Elvis Andrus- .265/.342/.301 .643 OPS 72 OPS+ 0 HR 35 RBI

LF: Josh Hamilton- .359/.411/.633 1.044 OPS 170 OPS+ 32 HR 100 RBI

CF: Julio Borbon- .276/.309/.340 .649 OPS 71 OPS+ 3 HR 42 RBI

RF: Nelson Cruz- .318/.374/.576 .950 OPS 146 OPS+ 22 HR 78 RBI

DH: Vladimir Guerrero- .300/.345/.496 .841 OPS 119 OPS+ 29 HR 115 RBI

UTIL: David Murphy: .291/.358/.449 .806 OPS 111 OPS+ 12 HR 65 RBI

SP#1: Cliff Lee- 4-6/3.98 ERA/113 ERA+/2.99 FIP/1.06 WHIP

SP#2: C.J. Wilson- 15-8/3.35 ERA/134 ERA+/3.56 FIP/1.25 WHIP

SP#3: Colby Lewis- 12-13/3.72 ERA/121 ERA+/3.55 FIP/1.19 WHIP

SP#4: Scott Feldman- 7-11/ 5.48 ERA/82 ERA+/3.55 FIP/1.60 WHIP

SP#5: Tommy Hunter- 13-4/3.73 ERA/120 ERA+/4.99 FIP/1.24 WHIP

CL: Neftali Feliz- 40 SV/2.73 ERA/165 ERA+/2.96 FIP/0.90 WHIP

They had built a solid core, with rule five draft pick Josh Hamilton leading the charge, on the way to winning the 2010 AL MVP award. Along with Hamilton, there were a bunch of budding stars on the offensive side of things, with 21 year old Elvis Andrus coming up and making an impact at short, minus his subpar power, along with getting huge contributions from veterans Nelson Cruz, Vladimir Guerrero (not jr.), Michael Young and Ian Kinsler. They did have some subpar performances trickled around their roster, with the platoon of Matt Treanor and Bengie Molina not getting it done with the bat, combining for a .593 OPS.

On the pitching side of things, the staff was headlined by two names, Cliff Lee, the 31 year old, who came over from Seattle at the trade deadline, and 29 year old fellow southpaw C.J. Wilson. Hunter and Lewis added two above average seasons, and Feldman was plagued with bad luck, seeing himself have a 3.55 FIP to a 5.48 ERA. The biggest story on this pitching staff was 22 year old closer Neftali Feliz, who ran away with the closer job, and the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year award.

2010 Draft Selections & Highlights:

1st Round 22nd overall: Kellin Deglan- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

1st Round (supplemental round) 45th overall: Luke Jackson- -0.2 MLB Career WAR

1st Round (supplemental round) 49th overall: Mike Olt- -1.7 MLB Career WAR

2nd Round 72nd overall: Cody Buckel- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

3rd Round 103rd overall: Jordan Akins- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

4th Round 136th overall: Drew Robinson- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

5th Round 166th overall: Justin Grimm- -2.6 MLB Career WAR

Players the Rangers could have gotten (picks that were made after their individual round selections):

1st Round: Mike Foltynewicz, Christian Yelich, Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, Taijuan Walker, Nick Castellanos,

2nd Round: Derek Dietrich

3rd Round: J.T. Realmuto

4th Round: No one of note

5th Round: Heath Hembree

Rangers Best Players from this draft that signed with the team: 14th rounder, Nick Tepesch: 0.4 MLB Career WAR

The Rangers really hit a whole group of duds on this draft class, with the wide majority of their picks ending up not ever making it out of the Minor Leagues, and the best player from the entire draft class for them, being a pitcher that pitched in 47 career games with the club, totaling a 4.71 ERA.

2011

2011 was more of the same success for the franchise, and while they failed in a horrible way of achieving their hopes of a World Series title in this season, there were a good deal of positives, but before that, lets looks at the transactions going into the season.

Additions: Kevin Cash, Esteban German, Yorvit Torrealba, Yhency Brazoban, Endy Chavez, Brian Barden, Omar Quintanilla, Brandon Webb, Arthur Rhodes, Brad Nelson, Matt Kata, Adrian Beltre, Robinzon Diaz, Ty Taubenheim, Dave Bush, Brett Tomko, Elizardo Ramirez, Manny Corpas, Manny Delcarmen

Losses: Willie Eyre, Gregorio Petit, Jeff Francoeur, Brandon McCarthy, Cliff Lee, Matthew Brown, Rich Harden, Hernan Iribarren, Kevin Richardson, Warner Madrigal, Willy Taveraz, Frank Francisco, Jorge Cantu, Alex Cora, Jesus Colome, Vladimir Guerrero, Matt Treanor, Doug Mathis,

Notable Trades: January 25th 2011- Mike Napoli in exchange for Frank Francisco

The Rangers went out and got a few catchers in the likes of Kevin Cash, Omar Quintanilla and Yorvit Torrealba, they also added a steady bullpen piece in Arthur Rhodes. But the biggest addition was obviously Adrian Beltre, who will go on to have a huge impact on the franchise. On the losses side of things, they lost a good amount, seeing their ace in Cliff Lee leave in free agency to Philadelphia, and also loosing the man that drove in 115 runs in Vladimir Guerrero was a big blow.

2011 Lineup With Stats:

C: Yorvit Torrealba- .273/.306/.399 .705 OPS 86 OPS+ 7 HR 37 RBI

1B: Mitch Moreland- .259/.320/.414 .733 OPS 93 OPS+ 16 HR 51 RBI

2B: Ian Kinsler- .255/.355/.477 .832 OPS 118 OPS+ 32 HR 77 RBI

3B: Adrian Beltre- .296/.331/.561 .892 OPS 131 OPS+ 32 HR 105 RBI

SS: Elvis Andrus- .279/.347/.361 .708 OPS 89 OPS+ 5 HR 60 RBI

LF: Josh Hamilton- .298/.346/.536 .882 OPS 130 OPS+ 25 HR 94 RBI

CF: Endy Chavez- .301/.323/.426 .749 OPS 97 OPS+ 5 HR 27 RBI

RF: Nelson Cruz- .263/.312/.509 .821 OPS 113 OPS+ 29 HR 87 RBI

DH: Michael Young- .338/.380/.474 .854 OPS 125 OPS+ 11 HR 106 RBI

UTIL#1: David Murphy- .275/.328/.401 .729 OPS 92 OPS+ 11 HR 46 RBI

UTIL#2: Mike Napoli- .320/.414/.631 1.046 OPS 173 OPS+ 30 HR 75 RBI

SP#1: C.J. Wilson- 16-7/2.94 ERA/ 150 ERA+/3.24 FIP/1.19 WHIP

SP#2: Colby Lewis- 14-10/4.40 ERA/100 ERA+/4.54 FIP/ 1.21 WHIP

SP#3: Derek Holland- 16-5/3.95 ERA/ 112 ERA+/3.94 FIP/1.35 WHIP

SP#4: Matt Harrison- 14-9/3.39 ERA/130 ERA+/3.52 FIP/1.28 WHIP

SP#5: Alexi Ogando- 13-8/3.51 ERA/126 ERA+/3.65 FIP/1.14 WHIP

CL: Neftali Feliz- 32 SV/2.74 ERA/ 162 ERA+/3.57 FIP/1.16 WHIP

Even with the losses, this offense put together a monster season, highlighted by an amazing first season by future mainstay Adrian Beltre. On top of that, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young continued to mash, and players like Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland took steps forward. Endy Chavez had a good season on top of everything else, and even Torrealba had an okay season as a 32 year old.

On the pitching side, the obvious loss of Cliff Lee meant that the Rangers were going to need some young pitchers to step up, since the team did not go out in the offseason and get any arms to help the rotation of Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson. This help came from the trifecta of Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando, who all were under the age of 27, and put together outstanding seasons for the Rangers. In reality, everything that could have possibly went well for the Rangers in this season, went right, and it led them all the way to within one strike of a title.

Lets see if the scouting department did any better in 2011 with the draft.

2011 Draft Selections and Highlights:

1st Round 33rd Overall- Kevin Matthews: 0.0 Career MLB WAR

1st Round (supplemental pick) 37th Overall- Zach Cone: 0.0 Career MLB WAR

2nd Round 83rd Overall- Will Lamb: 0.0 MLB Career WAR

3rd Round 113th Overall- Kyle Castro: 0.0 MLB Career WAR

4th Round 144th Overall- Desmond Henry: 0.0 MLB Career WAR

5th Round 174th Overall- Brandon Woodruff: 6.5 MLB Career WAR (did not sign)

Players the Rangers could have gotten:

1st Round: Brian Goodwin

Supplemental Round: Jackie Bradley Jr., Michael Fulmer, Trevor Story, Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell,

2nd Round: Nick Ahmed

3rd Round: Tony Cingrani, Carter Capps

4th Round: None of note

5th Round: J.D. Davis

Top Draft Pick By The Rangers in 2011 That Signed: 8th Round, Kyle Hendricks: 21.3 MLB Career WAR

So negatives and positives, negatives first, their first four selections in this draft, never played a single inning at the major league level. But they did get two really good pitchers in Kyle Hendricks from Dartmouth College, and Brandon Woodruff from Mississippi State University, right? Wrong. Brandon Woodruff decided not to sign, and instead was taken in the 11th Round in the 2014 Draft, and developed into a very solid arm. Hendricks on the other hand, did sign, but never threw a pitch for the franchise, after getting traded from the Texas Rangers to the Chicago Cubs, for RYAN DEMPSTER (WHO HAD A 5.09 ERA IN HALF OF A SEASON FOR THE RANGERS IN 2012 THEN LEFT FOR BOSTON).

So far, out of two seasons of top five picks, the Rangers are 3 for 13 in drafting players that have ever played at a Major League level, and their best player to ever play for their franchise, is Nick Tepesch. So far we are not off to a hot start, but they still have a strong core of offense and pitching, and are still the cream of the crop in the AL West.

2012

Additions: Joe Nathan, Dusty Brown, Luis Hernandez, Alberto Gonzalez, Sean Green, Jon Meloan, Aaron Heilman, Brad Hawpe, Ryan Spilborghs, Roy Oswalt

Subtractions: Tim Wood, Matt Treanor, Luis Cruz, C.J Wilson, Nick Green, Endy Chavez, Robinzon Diaz, Manny Corpas, Eric Hurley, Omar Quintanilla, Merkin Valdez, Darren Oliver, Brett Tomko, Andres Blanco

Notable Trades: Geovany Soto from CHC in exchange for Jake Bringham.

The obvious loss of C.J. Wilson to the division rivals Angels obviously is a big blow, along with the loss of one of their bigger bullpen arms in Darren Oliver, who had posted a 2.39 ERA in his two seasons with the club. Endy Chavez leaving for Baltimore leaves an opening in center. The only move the club made that made an impact, was signing Joe Nathan from Minnesota as a 37 year old, to try to fill a need within the bullpen. 34 year old Roy Oswalt was brought on as well, but as you will see, that did not go exactly as the Rangers would have hoped.

Another playoff appearance for the Rangers in 2012 finishing with 93 wins, but they did not win the division, leading to them playing the Baltimore Orioles in the Wild Card game. Ron Washington’s team saw their title chase dreams come to an end at home, as Joe Saunders held them to one run over 5.2 innings (what) and the bullpen did the rest.

Lineup and Stats:

C: Mike Napoli- .227/.343/.469 .812 OPS 113 OPS+ 24 HR 56 RBI

1B: Mitch Moreland- .275/.321/.468 .789 OPS 106 OPS+ 15 HR 50 RBI

2B: Ian Kinsler- .256/.326/.423 .749 OPS 97 OPS+ 19 HR 72 RBI

3B: Adrian Beltre- .321/.359/.561 .921 OPS 139 OPS+ 36 HR 102 RBI

SS: Elvis Andrus- .286/.349/.378 .727 OPS 94 OPS+ 3 HR 62 RBI

LF: David Murphy- .304/.380/.479 .859 OPS 126 OPS+ 15 HR 61 RBI

CF: Josh Hamilton- .285/.354/.577 .930 OPS 141 OPS+ 43 HR 128 RBI

RF: Nelson Cruz- .260/.319/.460 .779 OPS 104 OPS+ 24 HR 90 RBI

DH: Michael Young- .277/.312/.370 .682 OPS 80 OPS+ 8 HR 67 RBI

UTIL: Craig Gentry- .304/.367/.392 .759 OPS 102 OPS+ 1 HR 26 RBI

SP#1: Matt Harrison- 18-11/3.29 ERA/133 ERA+/4.03 FIP/1.26 WHIP

SP#2: Yu Darvish- 16-9/3.90 ERA/112 ERA+/3.29 FIP/1.28 WHIP

SP#3: Derek Holland- 12-7/ 4.67 ERA/94 ERA+/4.75 FIP/1.22 WHIP

SP#4: Scott Feldman- 6-11/5.09 ERA/86 ERA+/3.81 FIP/1.38 WHIP

SP#5: Colby Lewis- 6-6/3.43 ERA/128 ERA+/ 3.88 FIP/1.08 WHIP

CL: Joe Nathan- 37 SV/2.80 ERA/157 ERA+/2.78 FIP/1.06 WHIP

After having a great first season in Texas. following a trade from Anaheim, Napoli gives the Rangers their first established good hitting catcher. With down seasons from Kinsler and Young compared to both of their 2011 outputs, the offense regressed a little. Hamilton and Beltre carried the weight on the offense, and also getting solid contributions from Moreland and Murphy, the later entering his first time as a full time starter for the Rangers and having a really solid season, and opening up a spot for Gentry in the utility role. On the pitching staff, Matt Harrison established himself as the best pitcher on the staff, Yu Darvish enjoyed an outstanding rookie season, ending with an All-Star selection, finishing 3rd in ROTY voting and 9th in AL CY Young voting. Feldman and Holland both regressed, while Lewis enjoyed a very good year as the bottom of the rotation arm. With the team removing Neftali Feliz from the closers role, Joe Nathan stepped in and put together a fine season. So far the Major League team is getting good results from their home made pieces, and their key free agent signings. Roy Oswalt never factored much into the season, making nine starts, with a 5.80 ERA.

The Rangers have had to do better in the 2012 Draft right?

1st Round 29th overall- Lewis Brinson (traded, never played for TEX): -3.2 MLB Career WAR

1st Round (supplemental round A) 39th overall- Joey Gallo- 9.6 MLB Career WAR

1st Round (supplemental round A) 53rd Overall- Collin Wiles- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

2nd Round 83rd overall- Jamie Jarmon- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

2nd Round (supplemental round B) 93rd overall- Nick Williams (traded, never played for TEX)- -1.8 MLB Career WAR

3rd Round 123rd Overall- Patrick Cantwell- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

4th Round 156th Overall- Alec Asher (traded, never played for TEX)- -0.2 MLB Career WAR

5th Round 186th Overall- Preston Beck- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

Players the Rangers could have drafted:

1st Round: No one of note

1st Round Supplemental Rounds: Lance McCullers, Jesse Winker

2nd Round: Alex Wood, Carson Kelly

3rd Round: No one of note

4th Round: No one of note

5th Round: Brett Phillips

Top player the Rangers drafted in 2012, that signed: Joey Gallo- 9.6 MLB Career WAR (also got Keona Kela in the 12th round, 5.3 MLB Career WAR. ALSO DRAFTED JAMEIS WINSTON IN THE 15th ROUND)

So outside of Joey Gallo, who has had an up and down career in the Majors, pretty much another bust from the first five rounds, finding Kela was a nice get in the later rounds, but this brings the Rangers total of top 5 round picks making it to the big leagues in any capacity at 7 for 21, a 33% success rate, and of those seven, only three ever played an inning for the Rangers at the big league level.

With young stud Yu Darvish and emergence of Matt Harrison, the Rangers need to add a couple pieces to the staff in order to stay afloat, and as for the offense, there are a couple things needed, but overall, the pitching just needs the most help, lets see what they do in 2013.

2013

Additions: Aaron Cunningham, Collin Balester, Joakim Soria, Randy Wells, Evan Meek, A.J. Pierzynski, Jason Frasor, Lance Berkman, Kyle McClellan, Nate Robertson, Jeff Baker,

Losses: Luis Hernandez, Alberto Gonzalez, Scott Feldman, Josh Hamilton, Koji Uehara, Greg Reynolds, Ryan Dempster, Brad Nelson, Robinzon Diaz, Mike Napoli, Mark Lowe, Brandon Snyder

Notable Trades: Matt Garza and two prospects from CHC for Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Brandon Guyer and Sam Fuld. Alex Rios from CHW in exchange for Leury Garcia

Another season of not only losing one big bat, but this time two of them, as Mike Napoli and franchise star Josh Hamilton leave for different teams, along with bullpen piece Koji Uehara, and reliable arm Mark Lowe. To counter this, the team signs 36 year old catcher A.J. Pierzynski, aging veteran Lance Berkman, Utility man Jeff Baker, and relievers Joakim Soria and Jason Frasor.

Not only did they fail to address the need at the starting pitching aspect of things, they also lost two big bats, and grabbed some Elmer’s glue and threw A.J. Pierzynski at the wall. Lets see how it worked out for them.

Lineup and Stats:

C: A.J. Pierzynski- .272/.297/.425 .722 OPS 17 HR 70 RBI

1B: Mitch Moreland- .232/.299/.437 .736 OPS 23 HR 60 RBI

2B: Ian Kinsler- .277/.344/.413 .757 OPS 13 HR 72 RBI

3B: Adrian Beltre- .315/.371/.509 .880 OPS 30 HR 92 RBI

SS: Elvis Andrus- .271/.328/.331 .659 OPS 4 HR 67 RBI

LF: David Murphy- .220/.282/.374 .656 OPS 13 HR 45 RBI

CF: Leonys Martin- .260/.313/.385 .698 OPS 8 HR 49 RBI

RF: Nelson Cruz- .266/.327/.506 .833 OPS 27 HR 76 RBI

DH: Lance Berkman- .242/.340/.359 .700 OPS 6 HR 34 RBI

UTIL#1: Jurickson Profar- .234/.308/.336 .644 OPS 6 HR 26 RBI

UTIL#2: Craig Gentry- .280/.373/.386 .759 OPS 2 HR 22 RBI

SP#1: Derek Holland- 10-9/3.42 ERA/120 ERA+/3.44 FIP/1.27 WHIP

SP#2: Yu Darvish- 13-9/2.83 ERA/145 ERA+/3.28 FIP/1.07 WHIP
SP#3: Martin Perez- 10-6/3.62 ERA/114 ERA+/4.23 FIP/1.36 WHIP
SP#4: Alexi Ogando- 7-4/3.11 ERA/133 ERA+/4.36 FIP/1.23 WHIP

SP#5: Nick Tepesch- 4-6/4.84 ERA/85 ERA+/4.19 FIP/1.37 WHIP

CL: Joe Nathan- 43 SV/1.39 ERA/297 ERA+/2.26 FIP/0.90 WHIP

Even with the losses, it was surprising at the time to see the Rangers win 91 games, which ultimately left them out of the playoffs, but with the duds on the free agent market such as Pierzynski and Berkman who both were aging veterans, they still found a way to win. It is obvious at this point that Beltre has developed into the star of the team, and is getting solid contributions from Cruz and Kinsler, but as a whole, most of the offense slumped this season, with an emphasis on Moreland and non power threat Elvis Andrus. The pitching staff brought up two new full time starters in Martin Perez and Nick Tepesch, and while Perez enjoyed a wonderful first season as a full time starter, Tepesch rookie campaign was not stellar. Joe Nathan enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career on his way to his sixth and final All-Star nomination. Top prospect Jurickson Profar also made his debut this season, and struggled to make consistent contact and reach base, a foreshadowing moment for his career in Texas.

Lets see how the draft went this year.

1st Round 23rd Overall- Chi Chi Gonzalez: 1.0 MLB Career WAR

1st Round (supplemental pick)- Travis Demeritte (never played for TEX): -1.3 MLB Career WAR

2nd Round 62nd Overall- Akeem Bostick: 0.0 MLB Career WAR

3rd Round 99th Overall- David Ledbetter: 0.0 MLB Career WAR

4th Round 130th Overall- Isaiah Kiner-Falefa: 3.8 MLB Career WAR

5th Round 158th Overall- Joe Jackson (wasnt he banned from baseball?): 0.0 MLB Career WAR

Players the Rangers could have gotten:

1st Round: Ryne Stanek, Phillip Ervin

Supplemental Round: Aaron Judge, Sean Manaea, Michael Lorenzen, Corey Knebel

2nd Round: No one of note

3rd Round: Ryon Healy

4th Round: Dylan Covey, Ben Lively

5th Round: Austin Voth

Best player the Rangers signed:

So for the second straight season, the Rangers get a current every day player in Kiner-Falefa, but once again fail to select any large names that were available during their picks, such as Aaron Judge or Sean Manaea. The total of draft picks from the first 5 rounds, playing in the big leagues goes to 10 for 27, and five ever playing for the Texas Rangers.

It is obvious at this point, that if the Rangers are at a cross road, and need to decide if they need to sell and try to replenish their farm system, or if they should add some offensive pieces and a big arm to the team to try to push to get back into the playoffs. Lets see what they do.

2014

Additions: Brad Snyder, Bryan Peterson, Nathan Adcock, J.P. Arencibia, Josh Wilson, Brent Lillibridge, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Che-Hsuan Lin, Justin Germano, Daniel McCutchen, Kensuke Tanaka, Shin-Soo Choo, Rafael Perez, Armando Galarraga, Daniel Bard, Joe Saunders, Chris Snyder, Scott Baker,

Losses: Eli Whiteside, Brendan Harris, Collin Balester, David Murphy, A.J. Pierynski, Joe Nathan, Joe Benson, Matt Garza, Evan Meek, Jeff Baker, Nelson Cruz, Nate Robertson, Aaron Cunningham,

Notable Trades: Prince Fielder from DET in exchange for Ian Kinsler

So the Rangers once again lost a huge bat in free agency, seeing Nelson Cruz leave for Baltimore, and also seeing their best reliever and closer in Joe Nathan leave for Detroit leaves a couple big holes on the team. To try to counter that, the front office signs on base machine Shin-Soo Choo to a monster seven year 130 million dollar contract, and get pitchers Joe Saunders, Daniel Bard and once top prospect catcher Arencibia to try to fill some holes. Lets just say this season does not go to plan, and truly marks the beginning of the downfall of the franchise.

Lineup and Stats

C: Robinson Chirinos- .239/.290/.415 .705 OPS 13 HR 40 RBI

1B: Prince Fielder (hurt for most of season)- .247/.360/.360 .720 OPS 3 HR 16 RBI

2B: Roughned Odor- .259/.297/.402 .698 OPS 9 HR 48 RBI

3B: Adrian Beltre- .324/.388/.492 .879 OPS 19 HR 77 RBI

SS: Elvis Andrus- .263/.314/.333 .647 OPS 2 HR 41 RBI

LF: Shin-Soo Choo- .242/.340/.374 .714 OPS 13 HR 40 RBI

CF: Leonys Martin- .274/.325/.364 .689 OPS 7 HR 40 RBI

RF: Alex Rios- .280/.311/.398 .709 OPS 4 HR 54 RBI

DH: Mitch Moreland- .246/.297/.347 .644 OPS 2 HR 23 RBI

UTIL: Michael Choice- .182/.250/.320 .570 OPS 9 HR 36 RBI

SP#1: Yu Darvish- 10-7/3.06 ERA/130 ERA+/2.84 FIP/1.26 WHIP

SP#2: Colby Lewis- 10-14/ 5.18 ERA/77 ERA+/4.46 FIP/1.52 WHIP
SP#3: Nick Martinez- 5-12/4.55 ERA/87 ERA+/4.94 FIP/1.46 WHIP

SP#4: Nick Tepesch- 5-11/4.36 ERA/ 91 ERA+/5.01 FIP/1.37 WHIP

SP#5: Robbie Ross- 3-6/6.20 ERA/64 ERA+/4.74 FIP/1.70 WHIP

CL: Joakim Soria- 17 SV/2.70 ERA/ 149 ERA+/1.06 FIP/0.87 WHIP

So it is pretty obvious how this season went. Absolutely horrible, as the Rangers finished in last place in the AL West with a 67-95 record. Outside of Beltre, the offense was atrocious, as Fielder missed most of the season, Choo underperformed, and newcomers Odor and Chirinos both came into the mix as full time players. On the pitching staff, outside of Yu Darvish, there is a whole bunch of below league average performers, as Matt Harrison went down with an injury, and Colby Lewis did not build on his strong 2013 performance. Joakim Soria did a terrific job of filling in the closer role, after the departure of Nathan, and had an outstanding season, so that’s something positive.

Lets see if the Rangers can do anything positive in the draft, now really needing some young pieces to build around.

1st Round 30th Overall- Luis Ortiz (never played for TEX): -0.4 MLB Career WAR

2nd Round 59th Overall- Tiquan Forbes: 0.0 MLB Career WAR

3rd Round 95th Overall- Joshua Morgan: 0.0 MLB Career WAR

4th Round 126th Overall- Brett Martin: 1.0 MLB Career WAR

5th Round 126th Overall- Wes Benjamin: 0.2 MLB Career WAR

Best Player the Rangers drafted: Brett Martin 1.0 MLB Career WAR

Players the Rangers could have taken:

1st Round: Justus Sheffield, Michael Kopech, Derek Fisher

2nd Round: Alex Verdugo, Spencer Turnbull, Isan Diaz

3rd Round: J.D. Davis, Brian Anderson

4th Round: Ryan Yarbrough, Jordan Montgomery

5th Round: Rhys Hoskins, Dan Altavilla, Tejay Antone

This is beginning to become a recurring pattern, there are plenty of good names available, but the Rangers select the players who end up being burnouts. Brett Martin is a good young bullpen arm for the Rangers moving into 2021, but outside of that, nothing in the entire draft really stands out for the team. The team moves into 13 for 32 in first five round picks making the big leagues, and six playing at any point for the Rangers.

The obvious move for the franchise now, is to trade some of the larger contracts, and to add some young pitching and hitting to a farm system that needs it badly. Lets see how 2015 goes.

2015

Additions: David Martinez, Chris Gimenez, Anthony Bass, Antoan Richardson, Kyle Blanks, Kyuji Fujikawa, Thomas Field, Mitch Atkins, Ross Ohlendorf, Ryan Ludwick, Jamey Wright, Lendy Castillo, Wandy Rodriguez

Losses: Wilmer Font, Nathan Adcock, Bryan Peterson, Alex Rios, Josh Wilson, Mike Carp, J.P. Arencibia, Engel Beltre, Alexi Ogando, Zack Segovia, Neal Cotts, Scott Baker, Michael Kirkman, Ben Rowen

Trades: Josh Hamilton from LAA in exchange for cash. Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman from PHI in exchange for Jorge Alfaro, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Matt Harrison, Nick Williams and Jake Thompson. Yovani Gallardo from MIL in exchange for Marcos Diplan, Corey Knebel, and Luis Sardinas.

Not a huge offseason on either side of free agency for the Rangers, as their biggest names they got were Ryan Ludwick, who did not factor into the season, and Wandy Rodriguez and Ross Ohlendorf on the pitching side. The biggest loss the endured was Alexi Ogando, who left for Boston after bouncing from the rotation to the bullpen in his time in Texas. It was a huge trade offseason for the Rangers, with them giving up MORE prospects in exchange for aging players Hamilton, Hamels and Gallardo. In exchange, they lost out on Alfaro, Eickhoff and Knebel, who would end up posting 13.0 WAR so far in their careers combined, as Alfaro and Knebel both are still playing and large parts of their teams.

Lineup and Stats:

C: Robinson Chirinos- .232/.325/.438 .762 OPS 10 HR 34 RBI
1B: Mitch Moreland- .278/.330/.482 .812 OPS 23 HR 85 RBI

2B: Rougned Odor- .261/.316/.465 .781 OPS 16 HR 61 RBI

3B: Adrian Beltre- .287/.334/.453 .788 OPS 18 HR 83 RBI

SS: Elvis Andrus- .258/.309/.357 .667 OPS 7 HR 62 RBI

LF: Josh Hamilton- .253/.291/.441 .732 OPS 8 HR 25 RBI

CF: Delino Deshields- .261/.344/.374 .718 OPS 2 HR 37 RBI

RF: Shin-Soo Choo- .276/.375/.463 .838 OPS 22 HR 82 RBI

DH: Prince Fielder- .305/.378/.463 .841 OPS 23 HR 98 RBI

UTIL: Leonys Martin- .219/.264/.313 .576 OPS 5 HR 25 RBI

SP#1: Cole Hamels- 7-1/3.66 ERA/116 ERA+/3.79 FIP/1.20 WHIP

SP#2: Yovani Gallardo- 13-11/3.42 ERA/124 ERA+/4.00 FIP/1.42 WHIP

SP#3: Colby Lewis- 17-9/4.66 ERA/91 ERA+/4.17 FIP/1.24 WHIP

SP#4: Nick Martinez- 7-7/3.96 ERA/107 ERA+/4.98 FIP/1.45 WHIP

SP#5: Wandy Rodriguez- 6-4/4.90 ERA/86 ERA+/4.33 FIP/1.56 WHIP

CL: Shawn Tolleson- 35 SV/2.99 ERA/142 ERA+/3.44 FIP/1.15 WHIP

Behind first year manager Jeff Banister, the Texas Rangers return to the postseason at 88-74 winning the subpar AL West in 2015, with a solid performance on the offensive side from Moreland, Choo and Fielder, and Beltre and Odor holding their own as well. Robinson Chirinos had a fine hitting season for a catcher, and Delino Deshields makes his way onto the team as a 22 year old. On the pitching side of things, its not pretty but it got the job done. Trade additions Gallardo and Hamels carried the staff, as Yu Darvish went down with an injury, Nick Martinez showed some promise, and Colby Lewis fired some halfway decent innings. Shawn Tolleson stepped into the closer role, and didnt miss a beat that Nathan and Soria had as well.

Sadly, the Rangers would go on to lose in the ALDS to the Toronto Blue Jays, in one of the craziest game 5’s in recent memory, that will forever be remembered by Jose Bautista’s bat flip, that landed somewhere in the Eastern Portion of Russia.

Now with a higher pick in the draft, the Rangers NEED to get some young prospects that pan out, because they have depleted their farm system with the trades within the last two seasons.

1st Round 4th Overall- Dillon Tate (never played for TEX): 0.2 MLB Career WAR

2nd Round 45th Overall- Eric Jenkins- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

3rd Round 78th Overall- Michael Matuella- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

4th Round 108th Overall- Jake Lemoine- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

5th Round 138th Overall- Chad Smith- 0.0 MLB Career WAR

Best Player the Rangers drafted and signed: Dylan Moore 7th round, 1.8 MLB Career WAR

Players the Rangers could have drafted:

1st Round: Kyle Tucker, Andrew Benintendi, Ian Happ, Trent Grisham, DJ Stewart, Mike Soroka, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Ryan Mountcastle, Daz Cameron, Austin Riley, Triston McKenzie

2nd Round: Scott Kingery, Brady Singer, Andrew Stevenson, Tyler Alexander

3rd Round: Brandon Lowe, Harrison Bader, Jordan Hicks

4th Round: Paul DeJong, Willie Calhoun

5th Round: Trent Thorton

So from the outside looking in, with what we know now, a horrible draft right? But wait, the Rangers also got Peter Fairbanks, and Dylan Moore in this draft, but oh wait, they traded Moore for International Signing Money, and Fairbanks was traded after only throwing 8.1 innings for the Rangers in 2019? (for Nick Solak so not too bad). As a whole, since I will stop doing the draft recaps, because im a firm believer in alot of prospects need a minimum of four seasons before you get a good grasp on what kind of player they will become, the Rangers finish with a mark of 14 for 37 on top five rounders to make the big leagues at any point, and only six ended up playing for the Rangers. Not a great way to build up homegrown talent.

We will look at the years of 2016-2019 in part two.

Published by riskomatt

I am a 23 year old college baseball player at Cumberland University. In the past I have worked for Baseball Info Solutions, I have coached at varying levels, ranging from youth, to collegiate. I am a sports management major in college, entering my senior year, with a minor in journalism. I love to write and I love baseball, so a blog seemed once again a great place to start. Former owner of Its Always Baseball Season sports blog.

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