Texas Rangers 2011 Preview

2010 Record: 90-72

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers: Mike Napoli, Yorvit Torrealba
  • Infielders: Elvis Andrus, Mitch Moreland, Michael Young, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Andres Blanco
  • Outfielders: Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, Julio Bourbon, David Murphy
  • Starters: CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando(Brandon Webb, Tommy Hunter)
  • Bullpen: Neftali Feliz, Darren O’Day, Arthur Rhodes, Mark Lowe, Darren Oliver, Pedro Strop, Mason Tobin, Dave Bush

Notable Signings

  1. Adrian Beltre: 6 years, $96MM
  2. Yorvit Torrealba: 2 years, $6.25MM
  3. Arthur Rhodes: 1 year, $3.9MM
  4. Brandon Webb: 1 year, $3MM
  5. Mike Napoli: traded for a reliever

Notable Losses

  1. Cliff Lee
  2. Frank Francisco
  3. Jeff Francoeur
  4. Jorge Cantu
  5. Bengie Molina

Top Prospects

  1. Martin Perez: LHP
  2. Jurickson Profar: SS
  3. Tanner Scheppers: RHP
  4. Engel Beltre: OF

Key Position Battles

  • 5th Starter: Neftali Feliz vs. Alexi Ogando vs. Matt Harrison – This is a position battle that has all but been determined already. The Rangers have decided to keep Feliz in the bullpen which was certainly the right move because when you have an elite closer you don’t mess with it. Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando are options for the final rotation spot at this time. With Hunter on the DL to start the year both will get a look in the rotation but upon his return there will be an odd man out. Ogando has electric closer-like stuff and may slot in nicely to the bullpen which does not have great depth. Harrison will be be the 4th starter out of the gate and then become the 5th starter upon Hunter’s return. 5th Starter Pick: Matt Harrison

What an incredible offense the Texas Rangers have assembled this season. They will need it to cash in to make up for the shortcomings their pitching staff may experience. When you are returning reigning AL MVP, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus you will certainly be a force to be reckoned with. What makes their offense even more frightening are the additions of Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli who both add even more pop. Beltre is already banged up and Hamilton, Cruz and Kinsler are always good for at least one DL stint each but if this team is able to stay healthy this season it is fair to expect over 100 home runs from the 4 of them combined. Andrus brings plus-plus defense at shortstop and incredible speed at the top of the order while Napoli touts raw power. The big question mark in Rangers camp has been Michael Young. He is now without a defensive position and will likely lose a handful of at bats to Napoli as the DH. In my opinion he could still be a solid contributor; possibly to the Phillies because god knows Michael Young is a better option than Luis Castillo…way better. My main concern is with their pitching staff. The Rangers play their home game in a pitchers park and their top two pitchers, CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis came out of no where last season so the jury is still out on whether we should expect that as the norm from them or if 2010 was fluky. It also has to be noted that they are now without Cliff Lee. Two keys for Texas may be starters currently injured, Brandon Webb and Tommy Hunter. Webb was a Cy Young caliber pitcher not too long ago and although not there anymore he could be a major contributor if he can stay on the field this season. Outside of Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando(to a lesser extent) the bullpen does not excite me too much either. The good news is that the two fireballers will be able to shut the door on an extremely consistent basis. Feliz, 2010’s AL Rookie of the Year has a very good chance to become the next elite closer in the game. In 2010, the Rangers were in a spot they have never been in before and that was the World Series. Their offense could make anyone salivate but their pitching is what will hold them back from getting back to the heights of last season.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 85-77

About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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